How Making a Perfect Contrition Before You Die Can Save Your Soul

Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much.

(Saint Luke 7:47)

How is actual sin divided?

Actual sin is divided into mortal sin and venial sin.

What is mortal sin?

Mortal sin is a serious offence against God.

Why is it called mortal sin?

It is called mortal sin because it is so serious that it kills the soul and deserves hell.

How does mortal sin kill the soul?

Mortal sin kills the soul by depriving it of sanctifying grace, which is the supernatural life of the soul.

Is it a great evil to fall into mortal sin?

It is the greatest of all evils to fall into mortal sin.

Where will they go who die in mortal sin?

They who die in mortal sin will go to hell for all eternity.

What is perfect contrition?

Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin arising purely from the love of God.

What special value has perfect contrition?

Perfect contrition has this special value; that by it our sins are forgiven immediately, even before we confess them; but nevertheless, if they are serious, we are strictly bound to go to Confession.

Perfect Contrition will alsofrees us from eternal death and opens to us eternal life if we are about to die unexpectedly or waited to long to Confess. Remember this beautiful gift of God, it must be known that we can only profit from it if we are sincerely sorrow for all mortal sins.

How May We Obtain a Hearty Sorrow For Our Sins?

We may obtain a hearty sorrow for our sins by earnestly praying for it, and by making use of such considerations as may lead us to it.

What consideration concerning God will lead us to sorrow for our sins?

This consideration concerning God will lead us to sorrow for our sins; that by our sins we have offended God, who is infinitely good in himself and infinitely good to us.

What consideration concerning our Saviour will lead us to sorrow for our sins?

This consideration concerning our Saviour will lead us to sorrow for our sins; that our Saviour died for our sins, and that those who sin grievously ‘have wilfully crucified the Son of God and openly mocked him.’ (Heb. 6:6)

“Do you wish to know an easy way of exciting yourselves to true sorrow for your sins? Make three little visits- the first above (Heaven), the second below (Hell), the third in the middle (Calvary).”(St Charles Borromeo)

A Prayer That Can Be Said For Those Making An Act of Perfect Contrition

ACT OF CONTRITION

O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED PERFECT CONTRITION

1. Remember the good thief a robber condemned to death and yet for those few words spoken from his heart, “Lord, remember me when You shall come into Your Kingdom,” he was immediately promised Heaven by Christ Himself: “Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

2. Saint Peter, who denied his Master three times. Jesus looked at him; Peter said not a single word, but, “going out, wept bitterly.” He was forgiven; he was chosen by Christ to be His first successor on earth — the Prince of the Apostles — and today is one of the most glorious saints in Heaven.

3. Mary Magdalen, a public sinner. She did not even say one word, but simply wept at the Feet of Jesus. Jesus saw the sorrow in her heart, and, turning to her, said: “Woman! because you have loved much your sins are forgiven you.”

4. It is related in the life of the Curé d’Ars that on one occasion, a lady, a perfect stranger to him, asked him to pray for her husband, a careless Catholic, who had just died suddenly and without receiving the Sacraments. “He was so careless, Father,” she said, weeping; “he did not go to his duties, and whatever will become of him?” “Madam,” replied the saintly priest, “do you not remember the bouquet of flowers he picked every Saturday to decorate Our Lady’s altar? In return Our Blessed Lady obtained for him the grace to make an act of Perfect Contrition before dying, and he is saved.”

MORE PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS TO OBTAIN PERFECT CONTRITION

1. The Daily Rosary

2. The Three Hail Marys Devotion

3. Prayer to Jesus Christ on the Cross for a Happy Death

Oh my crucified Jesus, I beg of Thee to receive the prayer I now offer Thee for my last moment, when, having desired a holy death, all my senses have failed me.

At my last moments when therefore my sweetest Jesus, my eyes, languid and sunken, can no longer look upon Thee, remember this loving look which I now turn to Thee, and have mercy on me.

When my lips, dried up, can no longer kiss Thy most sacred Wounds, remember these kisses which I now give Thee, and have mercy on me.

When my cold and numbed hands can no longer clasp Thy Cross, remember the times that I held Thy Crucifix with love and devotion, and have mercy on me.

And when my tongue, swollen and immovable, can no longer speak, remember my present prayers, and have mercy on me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I commend to Thee my soul.

Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee.

4. Three Offerings to the most Holy Trinity to obtain the Grace of a Happy Death

1.) I offer to the most holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in thanks­giving for the most precious blood which He shed in the garden for us; and by His infinite merits I beseech Thee divine Majesty for pardon of my sins.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

2.) I offer to the most holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in honor and thanksgiving for the most precious death that He endured on the Cross for us; and by His infinite merits I beseech Thee divine Majesty for the remission of the all the temporal punishments due to my sins.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

3.) I offer to the most holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for His unspeakable charity by which He des­cended from Heaven to earth to become man, and to suffer and die for us upon the Cross; and by His infinite merits I beseech Thee divine Majesty to bring my soul to the glory of Heaven after my death, to be forever united with Thee, my God, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

5. Prayer To Saint Joseph For A Happy Death

O Glorious St. Joseph, behold I choose Thee today for my special

patron in life and at the hour of my death. Preserve and increase

in me the spirit of prayer and fervor in the service of God.

Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my

death may not come upon me unawares, but that I may have

time to confess my sins sacramentally and to bewail them

with a most perfect understanding and a most sincere and

perfect contrition, in order that I may breathe forth my soul

into the hands of Jesus and Mary. Amen

6. Prayer to St. Joseph for the Dying

Everlasting Father, for the sake of the love which Thou didst bear to St. Joseph, whom Thou didst chose above all to occupy Thy place on earth, Have mercy on us and on those who are dying.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.

Everlasting Son of God, for the sake of Thy love towards St. Joseph, who didst protect Thee so faithfully on earth, have mercy on us all and on those who are dying.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.

Everlasting Divine Spirit, for the sake of Thy love toward St. Joseph, who so carefully protected Mary, Thy most holy and beloved spouse, have mercy on us and those who are dying.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.

7. Litany for God’s Mercy to Obtain a Happy Death

O LORD JESUS, God of goodness and Father of mercies, I approach Thee with a sorrowful and humble heart; to Thee I recommend the last hour of my life, and into Thy hands I commend my spirit.

When my feet, numbed with the chill of death, shall warn me that my life is drawing to the end: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my hands, weak and trembling, shall no longer be able to grasp the crucifix, and I am forced, in spite of myself, to let it fall upon my bed of pain: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my eyes, dim and distorted, at the approach of death, shall fix themselves on Thee, my last and only support: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my lips, pale and livid, shall inspire those near me with pity and dismay, and when my face, bathed in the sweat of death declares my approaching end: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my ears, soon to be for ever shut to the words of men, shall be opened to Thy Judgement and irrevocable decree, which will fix my lot for eternity: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my imagination, agitated by dreadful thoughts, shall be sunk in an abyss of anguish; when my soul, frightened with the sight of my iniquities, and the ter­rors of Thy justice, shall have to fight against the angel of darkness, who will endeavor to conceal Thy mercies from my eyes and to plunge me into despair: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my poor heart, oppressed with sufferings and exhausted by its frequent struggles against the enemies of its salvation, shall feel the pangs of death: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When the last tear shall drop from my eyes, receive it as a sacrifice of expiation for my many sins and grant that my -current sufferings may be the penance for the sins of my life: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my family and friends standing around me, shall shed the tear of pity over me, and invoke Thy mercy and clemency on my behalf: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When I shall have lost the use of my senses and when the world shall have vanished from my sight; when my agonizing soul shall feel the sorrows of death: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When at last my soul shall leave my lifeless body, have mercy on me oh God and receive me into Thy Kingdom, that I may for ever sing of Thy love and mercy for all eternity: Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

Let us pray. Oh God, Who has destined all men to die, grant that I may pass my remaining days in the practice of virtue, seeking to know, love and serve Thee at every moment, with a fervent will and desire to do penance for my sins, that I may deserve to leave this world in the peace of a good conscience, and in the embraces of Thy merciful love, through Christ our Lord. Amen

8. PRAYER TO BE SINLESS AT THE HOUR OF DEATH

Lord Jesus Christ, Who willest that no man should perish, and to Whom supplication is never made without the hope of mercy, for Thou saidst with Thine Own holy and blessed lips: “All things whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, shall be done unto you”; I ask of Thee, O Lord, for Thy holy Name’s sake, to grant me at the hour of my death full consciousness and the power of speech, sincere contrition for my sins, true faith, firm hope and perfect charity, that I may be able to say unto Thee with a clean heart: Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O God of truth, Who art blessed for ever and ever. Amen (St. Vincent Ferrer).

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