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Excerpted from A Simple Path by Mother Teresa. Copyright 1995 by Mother Teresa. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Examine your heart first, though, to see if there is any lack of forgiveness of others still inside, because how can we ask God for forgiveness if we cannot forgive others?"

Mother Teresa, A Simple Path, Part 3

If you are Christian, you can say the Lord's Prayer; if Catholic, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Rosary, the Creed--all common prayers. If you or your family have your own devotions, then pray according to them.

If you trust in the Lord and the power of prayer you will overcome any feelings of doubt and fear and loneliness that people commonly feel.

If there is something that is worrying you, then you can go to Confession (if you are a Catholic) and become perfectly dean, because Jesus forgives everything through the priest. It is a beautiful gift of God that we may go to Confession full of sin and come out perfectly pure. However, whether you go to Confession or not, or whether you are Catholic or from another religion, you should at least know how to say "Sorry" to God.

Every night before you go to bed you must make an examination of conscience (because you don't know if you will be alive in the morning!). Whatever is troubling you, or whatever wrong you may have done, you need to repair it. For example, if you have stolen something, then try to give it back. If you have hurt somebody, try to make up to that person; do it directly. If you cannot make up like that, at least then make up with God by saying, "I'm very sorry." This is important because just as we have acts of love, we also must have acts of contrition. You could say, "Lord, I'm sorry for having offended you and I promise you I will try not to offend you again," something like this. It feels good to be free of burdens, to have a clean heart. Remember that God is merciful, He is the merciful father to us all. We are His children and He will forgive and forget if we remember to do so.

Examine your heart first, though, to see if there is any lack of forgiveness of others still inside, because how can we ask God for forgiveness if we cannot forgive others? Remember, if you truly repent, if you really mean it with a clean heart, you will be absolved in God's eyes. He will forgive you if you truly confess. So pray to be able to forgive those who have hurt you or whom you don't like, and forgive as you have been forgiven.

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