O, my God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart
In choosing to do wrong and in failing to do good
I have sinned against you
Whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend with your help to do penance,
To sin no more,
And to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy.
When I was first learned the Act of Contrition in first grade, I had no idea that power in the prayer that I memorized and uttered at lightening speed in the confessional, so proud that I had learned this new prayer on my own in time for my first confession. But the power of a sincere confession has not been lost on me as I have grown and needed God's grace and forgiveness in a very real.
In one particular confession, with sin weighing heavy on my heart, I finally admitted my greatest sin to a kind, loving confessor who met me where I was. I was so proud and convinced that my failures were so much greater than God's love that I felt unforgivable again and again after leaving confession.
However, I was taught a young age that God will always forgive the truly contrite heart. There is no mountain too tall, no valley too wide that God's love cannot overcome. Isaiah reminds us that God's love is greater than any natural disaster in chapter 54 when he writes:
"Though the mountains fall away
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never fall away from you
nor my covenant of peace[a] be shaken,
says the Lord, who has mercy on you."
Regardless of what we have done, our gentle, loving Father only needs our willing invitation and sincere prayer of contrition (memorized or not) to come rushing back to rush with open arms and wonderful grace.
Say "I'm sorry," today, sister. He's waiting for you.