The Act of Contrition from a Kid’s Perspective

Growing up as a Catholic, I learned the Act of Contrition from an early age. It was and probably still is the prayer one would say at the end of confession.

“…because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell…”

These words scared me to death as a small penitent sinner…”the pains of hell.” I wasn’t sure what hell was but it didn’t sound good.

“Oh, how bad I must be!”

To say the least, the experience of confession as a small Catholic child was one the Protestant kids my age didn’t experience. How lucky they were.

The fear that was instilled in this small child about a place called hell stayed with me for, well it seemed like forever. Then I realized my focus had been on one short phrase in this learned prayer of contrition; the phrase that surrounded me with fear.

The phrase that followed eventually allowed the fear to go away.

“but, most of all because they offend Thee, my God

Who are all good and deserving of my love…”

From the “pains of hell” to an “all good God” was quite a leap for this little mind…from fear to love. So now I wondered if there really was a place called hell or was it made up to scare little kids like me. It must be those priests and nuns. Why would an “all good God” do that to a little kid?


Categories: attitude, Bible, Christian, encouragement, faith, family, friends, hope, inspiration, Life, Love, memories, Reflections, Religion, Spirituality, thoughts | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The Act of Contrition from a Kid’s Perspective

  1. My preacher has made a great point. We all want to see God as the God of love. And that He is, but He is also the God of wrath. He has to have consequences for those who do not accept His Son as Lord and Savior. Hell is real and should be feared. Heaven is real and should be looked forward to. Hell is the forever separation from God, Heaven is being in the presence of God for eternity.


  2. Pingback: My Article Read (11-14-2014) | My Daily Musing

  3. It’s a wonder any of us return to the Church or to the faith! MJ


  4. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. You need to really understand the meaning of this proverb to better understand why the priests and nuns teach young children to go to confessio at such an early age.

    Yes they may confess to chewing gum at that time. It is to teach them that there is a way to forgiveness if they commit corporal sins later in life. Many will because of our human failings.

    Regards and good will blogging.


  5. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing and commented:
    This reminds me of an experience I had in a Baptist church as a young kid. This Baptist church had a fire, hell, brimstone preacher. Every Sunday I felt I had to go to the altar to say the sinners prayer because the fire, hell, and brimstone place wasn’t where I wanted to be.


  6. Looking at the big picture and taking in the whole Bible, it was a huge revelation moving from the Old Testament and taking in the good news of the New Testament.
    btw As I view your photos in “Memories” to the left, a couple of photos really look like Bela Karolyi. Marta and Bela were former neighbors from the city house. Is that Bela?


  7. Yes, the fear, guilt manipulation tactics of religious leaders is an issue that has caused people to leave Catholic and Protestant churches. Sad…


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