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Overcoming Habitual Sin by Compunction‏

Many of us suffer from habitual sin, which must be overcome with God's gift of compunction (definition: 'piercing of the heart with habitual contrition'). Compunction makes mortal sin and deliberate venial sin very rare. This habitual hatred for sin also preserves us and fortifies us against temptation. This is because sin and compunction are mutually exclusive. St. Teresa of Avila became a mystic through compunction. In order to receive this gift one ought to (1) pray for it, (2) meditate upon the Passion of our Lord while considering his own lowliness and ingratitude, (3) remember his future death, and (4) persevere in all this - pray for it every day.

A Prayer to Obtain the Gift of Tears

Almighty and most gentle God,
when your people thirsted
you drew living water for them out of a rock.
Draw tears of compunction from our stony hearts,
give us grace to lament our sins
make us worthy us to receive your merciful forgiveness.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Ambrose of Milan

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and enjoy you,
for sake of Jesus my Lord. Amen

St. Augustine of Hippo

O Lord,
the house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare your servant from strange sins.

St. Ephraim the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not the spirit of laziness,
despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of sobriety,
humility, patience and love to your servant.
Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own transgressions
and not to judge my brother,
for you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

St. John Chrysostom

O my all-merciful God and Lord,
Jesus Christ, full of pity:
Through your great love you descended from your throne
and became incarnate in order to save the human race.
O Savior, I beseech you to save me by your grace!
If you save anyone because of their works,
that would not be grace but only reward of duty,
but you are compassionate and full of mercy!
You said, O my Christ,
"Whoever believes in me shall live and never die."
If then, faith in you saves the lost, then save me,
O my God and Creator, for I believe.
Let faith and not my unworthy works be counted to me, O my God,
for you will find no works which could account me righteous.
O Lord, from now on let me love you as intensely as I have loved sin,
and work for you as hard as I once worked for the evil one.
I promise that I will work to do your will,
my Lord and God, Jesus Christ,
all the days of my life and forever more.

Bladwin of Canterbury

Lord, take away my heart of stone,
a heart so bitter and uncircumcised,
and give me a new heart,
a heart of flesh, a pure heart.
You cleanse the heart and love the clean heart.
Take possession of my heart and dwell in it,
contain it and fill it,
you who are higher than the heights of my spirit
and closer to me than my innermost self!
You are the pattern of all beauty and the seal of all holiness.
Set the seal of your likeness upon my heart!
In your mercy set your seal upon my heart,
God of my heart and my portion for ever. Amen.

Melania the Younger

I have consecrated my entire self to you,
and taking me by your right hand
you have led me with your counsel.
But in my human frailty
I have sinned both in word and deed
many times against you,
who are pure and without sin.
Therefore, accept my prayer
together with the tears I offer you
through your holy ones, the victors in the arena,
Purify me, your weak servant,
so that on departing toward you
my passage may be hastened.

A Prayer for Pardon

O Lord, the hour of your favor draws near,
the day of your mercy and our salvation.
We acknowledge our sins
and our offenses are always before us.
Blot out all our wrongdoings
and give us a new and steadfast spirit.
Restore us to your friendship
and number us among the living
who share the joy of Christ your Son. Amen.