Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity, and Contrition

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O MY God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee; teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow.

I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

Vouchsafe, O my God! to conduct me by Thy wisdom, to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.

I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

Give me strength, O my God! to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state of life.

Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

O my God! make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions.

Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my comportment regular.

Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy Commandments, and to work out my salvation.

Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of Heaven, the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear Thy judgments, and in the end obtain Heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prior to the Council, it was customary, in addition to the grouping of the Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity, for the Act of Contrition to be conveyed in the same group, a practice which might be anticipated to be restored at some time in the future.


 Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. (John 20:29) 

Act of Faith.

I believe that there is one God, and that in this one God there are three persons. That the Son of God was made man for us, that He died upon the cross, rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven. I believe that the Son of God will come again at the Last Day, and call all men to judgment. I believe this because Christ is the Son of God and therefore can neither deceive nor be deceived; and because He has confirmed His teaching by many miracles. Moreover I believe whatever the Catholic Church by Christ’s authority proposes to us to be believed; I believe it because the Catholic Church is guided and defended against error by the Holy Spirit; and because even down to the present day God corroborates by miracles the truths which the Catholic Church teaches. O God, increase my faith.

Fr. Jeremiah Williams Cummings (1814-1866)
Songs for Catholic Schools and Aids to Memory for the Catechism (1860), p. 107
Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918)
Amberley

Great God! Whatever through Thy Church
Thou teachest to be true,
I firmly do believe it all,
And shall confess it too.
Thou never canst deceived be,
Thou never canst deceive,
For Thou art truth itself, and Thou
Dost tell me to believe.

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Act of Faith
 

Holy Face Hymnal
Sisters of Mercy (Providence, R.I.), 1891

My God! most firmly I believe what e’er Thou teachest me;
The voice of Holy Church is Thine, Her spirit rests in Thee.
The world and creatures may deceive, but Thou wilt constant be;
For Thou the source of truth and light art from eternity.

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The Rood
 Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it. (Romans 8:24-25) 

Act of Hope.

O my God, I hope that after death Thou wilt admit me to everlasting happiness, and that Thou wilt give me here such means as are essential to the attainment of that happiness. I trust that Thou wilt grant me for this end the grace of the Holy Spirit, such temporal good things as are necessary to me, pardon of sin, help in time of need, and a gracious answer to my petitions. I hope this, because Thou, Who art almighty and all-bountiful and ever-faithful to Thy promises, hast promised these things to me, and because Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, has merited them for me by His cruel death upon the cross. O God, increase my hope.

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Fr. Jeremiah Williams Cummings (1814-1866)
Songs for Catholic Schools and Aids to Memory for the Catechism (1860), p. 108
Philip James (1890-1975)
Tregaron

My God! I firmly hope in Thee,
For Thou art great and good,
And gavest us Thine only Son,
To die upon the rood.
I hope through Him for grace to live
As Thy commandments teach,
And through Thy mercy when I die,
The joys of heaven to reach.


Act of Hope
 

Holy Face Hymnal
Sisters of Mercy (Providence, R.I.), 1891

My God! relying on Thy love I firmly hope in Thee;
I trust Thy mercy and Thy grace, in heaven Thy face to see;
My God! in Thee alone I hope for grace to persevere;
Then through our Saviour’s Precious Blood
to rest in heaven’s sphere.

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 Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. (1st Corinthians 13:1-2) 

Act of Charity.

My God, I love Thee with my whole heart, and above all things, because Thou art supreme beauty and perfection, because Thou art my greatest benefactor and Thy love for me is infinite. I will, therefore, think of Thee in all my actions; I will avoid even the slightest sins; I will give thanks to Thee for all Thy benefits and for all Thou givest me to suffer, and I will love my neighbor because he is Thy child and made after Thy image. O God, increase my charity.

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Fr. Jeremiah Williams Cummings (1814-1866)
Songs for Catholic Schools and Aids to Memory for the Catechism (1860), p. 108
Arnold G.H. Bode (1866-1952)
Laramie

With all my heart, and soul, and strength,
I love Thee, O my Lord,
For Thou art perfect, and all things,
Were made by Thy blest Word.
Like me to Thine own image made,
My neighbor Thou didst make,
And as I love myself, I love,
My neighbor for Thy sake.

Act of Charity
 

Holy Face Hymnal
Sisters of Mercy (Providence, R.I.), 1891

I love Thee, Lord, with all my heart, with all my strength and will;
For Thou alone all perfect art, None else my soul can fill.
My neighbour for Thy sake I love; Thine image I can see.
In all Thy children dearest Lord, Oh, make us more like Thee.

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 Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no more. (I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” -Isaiah 57:15

The Act of Contrition – Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Act of Contrition.
Fr. Jeremiah Williams Cummings (1814-1866)
Songs for Catholic Schools
and Aids to Memory for the Catechism
New York: P. O’Shea. 1860. Pp. 109110
Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Third Mode Melody

My holy God! my very soul,
With grief sincere is moved,
Because I have offended Thee,
Whom I should e’er have loved.
Forgive me, Father! I am now,
Resolved to sin no more,
And by Thy holy grace to shun,
What made me sin before.

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Act of Contrition
Holy Face Hymnal
Sisters of Mercy (Providence, R.I.), 1891
My God! my Father, I have sinned, Turn not Thy face away
For with repentant tears I’ve filled my feeble heart of clay.
Forgive me Father! by Thy grace; I’ll never more offend;
Oh, help me dearest Lord to be most faithful to the end.

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