David said to the Lord, “I have committed a grave sin. But now, Lord, I beg You to forgive Your servant for this fault. I have been very foolish.’
– 2 Samuel 24:10
REFLECTION…by St. Augustine…
“Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticise, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.
This was not the way that David showed us how to pray and make amends to God. […] He did not concentrate on others’ sins; he turned his thoughts on himself. He did not merely stroke the surface, but he plunged inside and went deep down within himself. […]This is how we should be – displeased with ourselves when we commit sin, and this because we know that sin is displeasing to God.
Sinful though we are, let us at least be like God in this, that we are displeased at what displeases Him. In some measure then, you will be in harmony with God’s will, because you find displeasing in yourself what is abhorrent to your Creator.”
PRAYER…an Act of Contrition…
O my God, I am sorry
and beg pardon for all my sins,
and detest them above all things,
because they deserve Your dreadful punishments;
because they have crucified my loving Saviour Jesus Christ;
and, most of all, because they offend Your infinite goodness.
And I firmly resolve, by the help of Your grace,
never to offend You again,
and to carefully avoid the occasions of sin.
O my God, I am sorry.
Forgive me, Lord, and create in me a clean heart. Amen.