Preparing for Battle

By Jenny Dendinger

It seems like every time I go to confession, I face a spiritual attack. While it’s beautiful to be waiting behind a long line of penitents, it can also be miserable for my anxiety.

A cloud of darkness seems to surround me while I wait. Thoughts of shame bounce around my mind trying desperately to convince me that I have no right to ask God for forgiveness.

The devil has studied all my bruised and tender places, and he hits me where it hurts.

In a recent battle, I decided to write a prayer to help me fight against these frustrating attacks. The rosary is usually my weapon of choice, but I wanted to add something more specific before I call on Mama Mary.

Now in preparation for confession, I pray:

“Lord, calm my mind and give me clarity so that I will remember all the times I’ve failed you. While I reflect, remain close to my heart, and remind me of my worth. Help me to see myself as you see me – with the eyes and heart of a loving father.

 “Help me to approach confession with a contrite heart. Give me strength as I take ownership of my failures and fill me with courage and conviction as I seek out your forgiveness. Shield me from Satan’s lies and keep me from falling into his trap of despair. If I feel anxious or afraid, reassure me that no sin is unforgiveable, and no mistake could ever push me out of reach of your mercy.

 “Holy Spirit, I implore you to fill the priest hearing my confession with your wisdom and love as he absolves me of my sins and guides me to live a holier life. Bless him and all his efforts to care for your church.

 “God, my heart longs for my relationship with you to be reconciled, and for your grace and mercy to make me new once again. My life is yours. Teach me, mold me and send me back into the world with a renewed faith in you and in myself.

 “Thank you, Lord, for the tangible and transformative gift of the sacrament of reconciliation. Amen.”

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