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When a Catholic is unable to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance, he or she should make an Act of Perfect Contrition. The motivation for doing so is because we have offended God whom we should love above all things. We resolve to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance when one is able to do so. As the Church has always taught, this prayer can obtain forgiveness of venial and mortal sins. God has more of a desire for you to be forgiven than you have to be forgiven. Trust that God knows your circumstance. His heeling mercy is available to you. Be at peace.

My God,

I am sorry for my sins

with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong

and 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.


More background:

Catechism of the Catholic Church #1451: "Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is 'sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.'"


Catechism of the Catholic Church #1452: "When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called 'perfect; (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible."

Pope Francis spoke about these circumstances during a homily on March 20, 2020:

“I know that many of you go to confession before Easter… Many will say to me: ‘But Father…I can't leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me… How can I do that unless I find a priest?’. Do what the catechism says. It's very clear. If you don't find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He's your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’ You will return to God's grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God's forgiveness,s without having a priest at hand."

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