To move forward in the path of virtue we must first renounce the ways of darkness.
A central part of the Rite of Baptism is called the “Baptismal Promises.” It is where the person to be baptized both renounces their former way of life and formally accepts the Gospel message.
While that certainly essential when starting out on the pilgrimage of faith, it shouldn’t end there. We often fall into temptation even after accepting Jesus into our hearts, and need to continually renounce the ways of darkness.
Here is a short prayer from the Golden Manual that is recommended on a daily basis, in particular at the end of the day. It helps us to recognize our faults and renounce them, doing what we can to ensure they don’t take root and grow even bigger.
O my God, I firmly believe that you are here present, and perfectly see me, and that you observe all my actions, all my thoughts, and the most secret motions of my heart. You watch over me with an incomparable love, every moment bestowing favors, and preserving me from evil.Let me here examine what sins I have committed this day, by thought, word, deed, or omission. [Take a few moments to recall the day]O my God, I detest these and all other sins which I have committed against your divine Majesty. I am extremely sorry that I have offended you, because you are infinitely good, and sin displeases you. I love you with my whole heart; and firmly purpose, by the help of your grace, never more to offend you.I renounce the devil, with all his works; the world, with all its pomps; the flesh, with all its temptations.I desire to be with Christ. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.May the blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and all the saints, pray for me to our Lord, that I may be preserved this night from sin and all evils. Amen.