Another spiritual exercise which people may find helpful:
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What shall I do for Christ?
Meditations on sin are not a time to wallow in guilt and despair, centred on myself. Rather they offer the opportunity to compare my own selfishness, lack of love and integrity with the faithful love that God has shown to me. It is good to recognise that whatever I have done, I am forgiven.
Nothing is hidden from God, I might accept this in my head, but at the same time keep certain areas of my life out of my prayer. Some things don't seem nice or suitable to pray about.
The following meditation is intended to look into my own depths, to bring before God the areas of my life I prefer not to acknowledge. Only with nothing hidden can I be totally open ot the healing touch, to the unconditional love and forgiveness of God. Only when I admit that I cannot go it alone, that I have weaknesses, that I have sinned, that I need God, can I come into right relationship before God, as creature to Creator. When I fully accept I have been forgiven, I can then begin to forgive myself.
I come before the Creator of the Universe, the Father who loves me dearly. I ask that I do nothing that is not according to God's will.
I ask for the grace of feeling ashamed and confused as I consider the effects of sin, the opportunities I have missed to love others in my life.
I let pass before my mind all that I have done in life, or the last year, or last week, that I now regret. I consider the people I have hurt. I think about the petty jealousies, the selfishness, the worrying about what people will think of me, the lies, the lack of thought for others and their feelings.
I then contrast my response to that of God, the source of life and love. I remember that God has given me life itself, all my own qualities, natural abilities and strengths. I think of all the people who have loved me; I see the way I have been given good things in life, food, warmth, the fruits of the earth, human concern and affection.
We can all learn from our mistakes. How have I grown through my sins? Have my mistakes matured me, or made me more understanding of the mistakes of others? In what ways can I live a more loving life from now on?
In my own words I talk to Jesus, and to God the Father. I might imagine I am facing Christ on the cross. I tell him about my own weaknesses and failure to love fully, and then I become aware of his response to me.
with a formal prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer.