Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Pray this Psalm to make your confession more heartfelt


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/08/19

Use this Psalm as an emotional prayer while you are waiting in line.

An essential part of confessing our sins to a priest is contrition of heart. What this means is that we need to be sincerely sorry for our sins.

For many of us, sorrow is not an easy feeling to produce and when we go to confession, we might feel more a sense of obligation than sorrow. In other words, we go to confession not necessarily because we are sorry for what we have done, but because we know we are supposed to go.

While contrition is not restricted to what we’re feeling, and is an act of the will, still it is good to prod our hearts to remember the weight of sin, and how it is a betrayal of God’s goodness.

If feeling sorry for your sins is difficult, try praying Psalm 51. It is a perfect reflection on what is true repentance and is written in the first person. This means that we can make this Psalm our own, saying the words as if we were the author of the Psalm.

The next time you are waiting in line for confession, try praying this Psalm and let it sink within your soul. Then when you go to tell the priest your sins, it will be easier not only to have, but also to feel that true contrition and experience the amazing relief when he says the words of absolution.


Read more:
How to go to confession, a step-by-step guide

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.Thoroughly wash away my guilt;and from my sin cleanse me.For I know my transgressions;my sin is always before me.Against you, you alone have I sinned;I have done what is evil in your eyesSo that you are just in your word,and without reproach in your judgment.Behold, I was born in guilt,in sin my mother conceived me.Behold, you desire true sincerity;and secretly you teach me wisdom.Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.You will let me hear gladness and joy;the bones you have crushed will rejoice.Turn away your face from my sins;blot out all my iniquities.A clean heart create for me, God;renew within me a steadfast spirit.Do not drive me from before your face,nor take from me your holy spirit.Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;uphold me with a willing spirit.I will teach the wicked your ways,that sinners may return to you.Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God, my saving God,and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice.Lord, you will open my lips;and my mouth will proclaim your praise.For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;a burnt offering you would not accept.My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.


Read more:
6 Ways to examine your conscience for Confession

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.