sacrament of penance - confession

On the multitude of our sins

Consider, first, how early you abandoned your God by sin, and how much your sins have been daily multiplied since that unhappy hour. Lucifer and his companions were cast down headlong into hell, because immediately after their creation, instead of turning to God as their duty required, they deserted him by pride, and by shaking off his sweet yoke: and have you not imitated these rebels at the first dawning of your reason by burning your back upon your Maker, and preferring your own disorderly inclinations before him?

Consider, secondly, how you have gone on daily adding sin to sin, against God, against your neighbor, and against yourself, by word, by action, or by desire. Alas! is it not true that even from your childhood you have been given to lies, to passion, and impurity? Is it not true that even then your thoughts wandered continually from God after vanity: that your prayers were without attention, your confessions without sincerity, repentance or amendment; and your whole life and conversation without any true sense of God, and of your duty?

Consider, thirdly, to the end you make a better judgment of the immense number of your offences, how little you have complied in any part of your life with the great duty of “loving God with your whole heart,” and dedicating to him your whole self with all your thoughts, words, and actions, by a pure intention of pleasing him. How little restraint have you put upon your corrupt inclination; how little guard upon your roving thoughts! How little care you have taken not to offend in words, nor to give occasion of offense to others.


Reflect also, how much of your precious time you have squandered away, and how many graces you have received in vain. From these, and the like considerations, you will have some Imperfect idea of the multitude and enormity of your sins.

Conclude to be always humble, by a true sense of your innumerable sins; and offer up daily for them the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart, together with a life of penance.



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