How does one get true contrition and a firm resolve not to commit that sin again?

Hey everyone. I am having trouble with getting true contrition and a firm resolve to not commit the sins I committed again. How do I do this? :shrug::confused:

You could ask for it. Meditation on the passion can help me. The sorrowful mysteries, the stations of the cross, lectio divina on the gospel, etc… At Kibeho, Mary promised that those who pray the rosary of the seven sorrows will develop a true contrition for their sins.

Oh interesting! How does one pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows? :shrug::confused:

There are a couple of different ways to pray it, all valid! It’s has the same indulgences as the Servite Rosary, and is basically the same thing. All that is required is to begin the prayer with an act of contrition, then to meditate on the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin (Simeon’s Prophecy, The Flight into Egypt, The Loss of Jesus in Jerusalem, Meeting Jesus on the Way of the Cross, Standing at the Foot of the Cross, The Descent from the Cross, The Burial of Jesus). After each meditation, say one Our Father and seven Hail Marys. At the end, say three Hail Marys.

Each variation on this theme has its own prayers- just find the one you like and go with it. They’re all indulgenced, as long as you follow the basic theme.

Here are two slightly different ways of saying it.

One thing that has helped me overcome tempations in the past is simply saying. “Take me to the Foot of the cross”, and then visualizing that scene. I do not look up for I am unworthy, but do see the cross where it enters the ground, muddy and bloodsoaked. I see His feet covered with blood and filth, all because of our sins.
This scene never fails to renew my desire to remove sin from my life. To “lift” some small part of His burden from Him. To accept my guilt and to ask for His Mercy and Strength.

Does this prevent all tempation from returning? No
Does this prevent my failing occasionally? No

But so long as I have used that vision, and really concentrated on it, I have succeeded in resisting temptation.


True contrition has two parts:

  1. say you’re sorry.

  2. improve yourself so that you avoid those situations that get you into trouble.

The best guide I have ever seen to help us improve ourselves is a booklet called “My Daily Bread” by Fr. Anthony Paone. It is very comprehensive. It fits into your pocket but has more than 400 pages but it is divided up into convenient and well written small sections. You can just open it to any page and begin reading.

It’s part of an outstanding series of guides.

It is published by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood in Brooklyn, NY

“My Daily Bread” is $8.50

Here is the order form.


Consider who He is, and how good and gracious He is to you, Whom you have so often and so deeply offended by your sins. God made you - He made you for Himself, to know, love and serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever. He redeemed you by His blood. He has borne with you and waited for you for so long. He it is Who has called you and moved you to repentance.

Why have you been so ungrateful?

What more could He do for you?

Oh be ashamed, and mourn, and despise yourself, because you have sinned against your Maker and your Redeemer Whom you ought to love above all things!

Consider the consequence of even one mortal sin. By it you lose the grace of God. You destroy peace of conscience; you forfeit the felicity of heaven for which you were created and redeemed; and you prepare for yourself eternal punishment.

If we grieve for the loss of temporal and earthly things, how much more should we grieve for having deliberately exposed ourselves to the loss of those which are eternal and heavenly!

Consider how great the love of God is for you, if only from this, that He hath so long waited for you, and spared you, when He might have so justly cast you onto hell.

Behold Him fastened to the cross for love of you!

Behold Him pouring forth His precious blood as a fountain to cleanse you from your sins!

Hear Him saying, “I thirst,”

“I thirst with an ardent desire for your salvation!”

Behold Him stretching out His arms to embrace you, and waiting until you should come to yourself and turn unto Him, and throw yourself before Him, and say “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and am no more worthy to be called your son.”

Let these considerations touch your heart with love for Him who loves you so much, and love will beget true contrition which is most acceptable to God.

Now pray the penitential psalms:

Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143 (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142 in the Septuagint numbering as used in the Douay Rheims Bible)

+Sacred Scripture . . . the Holy Thoughts of God . . . answers the subject question very simply with great wisdom . . .

Thy words have I hidden in my heart,
that I may not sin against thee.**Psalm 118[119]:11

Within the Catholic family . . . Benedictine spirituality in particular stresses reflection upon Sacred Scripture as incredibly important in the formation and strengthening of the soul in holiness and . . . Lectio Divina (divine reading) . . . is a way of encountering and reading a literary level of holy writings in Christendom believed to be especially blessed and anointed of God . . . first order and always primary of which is God’s **Holy Word **. . . Sacred :bible1: Scripture . . . which can also include **The Holy Rule of St. Benedict **and The Catechism of the Catholic Church and writings of the Saints and Doctors of our wonderful Apostolic Holy Roman Catholic Church . . . and as such . . . when prayer:gopray2:fully read the . . . **Holy Spirit **. . . Wonderful Counselor of Our God . . . is abundantly available to help regarding the reading and understanding of same . . .

The wonderful holy monk . . . Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki , O.S.B. of the Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania here in the United States . . . recommends that we . . . *slow down radically *. . . when reflecting on inspired material . . . so as to . . . ***open up freely ***. . . to the treasury of insights contained therein . . . he goes on further to share with beautiful simplicity:

Lectio Divina (divine reading)
Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki , O.S.B. (Order of St. Benedict)

[INDENT]“It is the **monastic insight **that reading, if it be authentic, cannot be undertaken simply with the eyes and the mind. Rather it must involve the whole person: mind, :heart: heart, body and spirit. It is reading not so much for information as for formation, that is, for encounter with the living God in this moment in such a way that one’s heart :heart: catches fire and one’s life is transformed … In St. Benedict’s day reading a sacred or spiritual text was practiced not so much for the sake of ‘information,’ but rather in order to be ‘formed’: that is, to be inwardly changed or shaped. …

Thus the aim of lectio divina (divine reading), i.e., pondering the material in a slow, prayer:gopray2:ful way, is to dispose ourselves to welcome God’s ever-present grace and His efforts to conquer our hearts :heart: and transform us more and more into a holy people . . . ”

Those religious who daily follow St. Benedict . . . the Father of Western Monasticism . . . from the simpliest thru the most profound of souls . . . all walk within the holy pathway of life revealed in St. Benedict’s Holy Rule for Monasteries . . . Benedictines, Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona, The Carthusians, The Cistercians and Trappists all follow this Holy Rule . . . which religious are the largest group of religious (monks, nuns, priests and lay oblates) in the world . . . and for many centuries of time on into today . . . for over 1600 years . . . they have incorporated into their daily lives and prayer times readings and contemplation on Sacred Scripture all throughout their days . . . and in particular they constantly concentrate on the holy **Book of Psalms **. . . allowing these holy treasures of God’s thoughts and guidance to permeate their souls and form them more and more . . . day by day . . . year by year . . . into holy . . . and gradually . . . into mature . . . children of God . . .

Below is a link to the Douay-Rheims Bible on-line . . . which contains a wonderful search/research feature . . . and a link to the **Order of St. Benedict (OSB) **website here in the U. S. . . . which has the daily portion for reflection of the Holy Rule posted each day . . .

Link to Holy Bible (Douay-Rheims Version)** :
Link to the Order of St. Benedict Website:
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Benedict+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+

In addition to the other great advice you have been given, consider that sometimes the first step is to want to want to have true contrition and a firm resolve not to sin.

There is a subtle difference between wanting to want something and actually wanting something.

The answer to your question is surprisingly simple: You decide to. Contrition and the resolve not to sin again are in the will, not the emotions. If you feel sorrow and shed tears, that’s a lovely gift from God, but not necessary in order to decide to do the right thing.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit