O Lord, I come before you just as David did so many years ago. I come freely admitting my sins. I come humbly, acknowledging that my offenses have been an affront to your holiness, your justice, and your love. Have mercy on me, Lord!
O God, you have shown me how my thoughts, words, and actions have turned me away from your grace and your protection. I can see how the consequences of my sins have affected not only my relationship with you but my relationship with my brothers and sisters as well. O Lord, in your loving compassion, blot out my transgressions! Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sins!
Father, through faith in you and by trusting in your Son’s death and resurrection, I believe that I have been redeemed. I believe that you can throw my sins from me as far as the east is from the west. Filled with confidence—not in myself but in your power and mercy, I confess my sin and ask you to forgive me. Lord, I know that in the Sacrament of Reconciliation I can experience not only forgiveness but healing and restoration as well. And so I come to you, Father, hoping to receive your grace to begin again. Thank you, Lord!
Father, words alone cannot describe what it is like to come back to you and feel your embrace once more. You promised through your prophet that even though my sins are as red as scarlet, they can be made as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). How can anyone fully express what it feels like to be made so clean?
Sometimes I think that being forgiven is like having a large, crushing load lifted from my back, allowing me to stand up straight again. Other times it feels like a heaviness is lifted from my chest so that I can breathe freely once more. And every time, I feel a wonderful strengthening through your grace, Lord, enabling me to say “no” to temptation. Thank you, Father, for the joy that this brings!
Father, your love and mercy are unending!
(Word Among Us-March 2013)
(Vatican Radio) Following a tradition laid out by his predecessors, Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception by travelling to Piazza di Spagna where he venerated the statue named for the Marian Feast.
The celebration began with a reading from the book of Revelation in which Mary is described as a “woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and around her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). The Holy Father then recited a prayer to the Immaculate Conception, in which he asked Our Lady to “awaken in us a renewed desire for holiness,” and to “make present all of the Gospel’s beauty” in our lives. He went on to ask Mary’s intercession in helping us remain attentive to the Lord’s voice, and to never be indifferent to the cry of the poor, the sick, the elderly, of children, and every human life. Before taking leave of the Piazza, the Holy Father greeted the sick and disabled who had gathered in the Square for the celebrations.
After the celebrations, Pope Francis paid a visit to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major where he said a private prayer before the image of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani. The statue of the Immaculate Conception, venerated by the Holy Father this Sunday, was consecrated on December 8, 1857 several years after the dogma which states that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin was adopted by the Church. It has since become a tradition for the Pope to venerate the statue each year on December 8 as part of the celebrations for the Marian feast.
of the Vatican Radio website