This prayer is a good reminder of Lent and also the possibility to always renew our hearts in the Lenten spirit, even if we are late in Lent right now. Here is a prayer given to me by my spiritual director, and I believe he is the author of it. It is a very helpful prayer!
Lord, as we begin the holy season of Lent, I ask You for Your help. You have said “Be converted to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). I hunger to do your will. I long to please You in all that I think and say and do. During Lent I want to grow in my love for You. I want to show You my deep sorrow and repentance for all my past sins, offenses and negligence. I know I have often fallen short of what You as my creator and Father have the right to expect from me. I know that I have often chosen my will over Yours. I have given in to pride, greed, envy, anger, impurity, gluttony and laziness. I have often acted against Your commandments, deliberately choosing my comfort, pleasure, or gain over that which pleases You. I have failed to correspond to Your graces. At times I have been indifferent to my faith, my love has been self-centered, and I have placed my hope in earthly matters. I have been impatient, I have allowed my senses and imagination to wander. I have frequently failed to think of You, the only source of all that is good in my life. I have often failed to spend time with You in prayer. I have ignored your calls and thought only of myself: my time, my plans, my interests and ambitions. I have not fulfilled my duties to family and friends. I have put off my studies and been lazy about my work. In these and countless other ways I have fallen short of what I should be.
But now I want You to know that my soul is filled with sincere sorrow for the wrong I have done and the good I have failed to do. I repent of all my sins and faults and turn to You, my Father and Lord, to beg your forgiveness. O my Jesus, I count on your grace. You lived and suffered and died on the Cross to redeem us from sin. I trust in your mercy. I will confess my sins to my brother the priest. I will do penance and I will try to convert what has been darkness and sin in my life into works of light. I come to you with the confident words of the repentant thief: “Lord, remember me…”.
Lord, I know that I need this time of Lent to deepen my sorrow for the past, to do penance by voluntarily depriving myself some of the pleasures of this life, to pray more and better, and to grow in the ways I show my love for You. I commit myself to follow a plan for prayer and penance during these days which will include as often as possible, attending daily Mass and devoting some time each day to reading and meditating on the Sacred Scriptures. Holy Mary, my Immaculate Mother, I place myself under your motherly care and I ask you to help me persevere in these good resolutions. Amen.