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Forgiveness Month
by Mary McEntee McGill
February can put us in touch with how we are not the people we hope to be, are meant to be.
February can put us in touch with how we are not the people we hope to be, are meant to be. February’s bare trees can draw us to hope for new growth and life, and Lent calls us to new life with Christ.

For our February prayer, let us seek the Lord’s warm promise of new life through forgiveness and redemption. Let us reflect upon our need for reconciliation with the Lord and one another. Let us make February our Forgiveness Month.

For this prayer, you will need copies of the Act of Contrition.



Leader: As we pray together, let us think of our need for forgiveness from the Lord and our desire to understand our call to be good and faithful people in this world. We will experience our prayer today by sharing and reflecting on the Act of Contrition. Let us pray…
       
All: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee…

Leader: We are called to be a community of faith—brothers and sisters. Sin, however, separates us from our community and can separate us from the Lord. Let us pray to seek unity. Because none of us is alone, we seek not only to mend our offence of the Lord but also to mend our offences of those around us.

Consider how you may have offended the Lord and how you may have offended those in your own community: your family, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors. (Allow time for quiet reflection.)

Let us pray…

All: …and I detest all my sins…

Leader: Sin is always a choice. We know what is good and what is wrong and what is hurtful. We detest our mean thoughts and the things we have said that were mean and hurtful. Let us seek for our thoughts and words to be ones of love. (Allow time for quiet reflection.)

Let us prasy…

All: …because I dread the loss of heaven and the pain of hell…

Leader: We all seek to be one with God and with those we love for eternity. This is what Christ has promised us. To be apart from God and others for eternity would be terrible. And that is what hell will be. (Encourage your group to think of what they would like heaven to be and also what hell would be. Perhaps some would like to share their thoughts.)

Let us pray…

All: …but most of all because I love thee, my God…

Leader: What does it mean to really love God? We have wonderful examples in Mary, Our Blessed Mother, and the saints. Think of your favorite saints, those who have been examples to you of good faith. (Allow time for quiet reflection.)

Let us pray…

All: …who art all good and deserving of my love.

Leader: And we have the wonderful gift of God’s love. We are called to be witnesses of this love to all. We seek to work together to be the servants of God, loving all as God loves us. (Invite the group to bring to mind those who are their co-workers in their Catholic commitment.)

Let us pray…

All: And I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins…

Leader: Name them and seek forgiveness—from God and from others. (Ask all to pray silently for forgiveness.)

Let us pray…

All: …to do penance…

Leader: Is there something you can do to amend your sin? (Ask the group to bring to the Lord their most significant prayers.)

Let us pray…

All: …and to amend my life…

Leader: …to move to the new life God promises. (Ask the group to bring to mind the life they seek in the Lord for themselves, their community, and the world.) Amen. Now let’s share with one another a sign of peace.


Mary is the Pastoral Associate for Religious Education and Liturgical Education for Holy Trinity Parish in Dallas, TX. She is the author of Stories to Invite Faith Sharing (Resource Publications).


Copyright 2014, Peter Li, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Peter Li, Inc.