The Act of Contrition is one of my favorite prayers. It is generally said after receiving absolution in the sacrament of confession, but I like to say it before bed as I review my day in prayer. We said this prayer every afternoon at my Catholic elementary school, something I am very grateful for now.
O My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all of my sins because of thy just punishment, but most of all, because they offend Thee my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
Even as a child mindlessly glossing over this daily prayer many times, as I grew and matured in my faith I remember when this prayer started to draw me into a true desire to get to know this God who was “all good and deserving of all my love.”
I remember as a very little girl asking God sincerely to help me be good and to avoid sin. Of course, I also remember being very little and quite sincerely asking God to please not make me be a nun, even though I knew that just-like-Moses-sometimes-God-wants-you-to-do-the-exact-thing-you’re-really-scared-to-do.:)