ACT OF CONTRITION*Oh beautiful Child of Atocha! Nino de Atocha! Fathomless abyss of love, Child of my heart, inexhaustible fountain of wonders, river of delight, and Father of all mercy. Oh blessed Child of Atocha! At your sovereign feet we humbly prostrate ourselves, ungrateful sinners who beg with tears in our eyes, the forgiveness of all our sins. I make my prayer through my intermediary your holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, and with trust placed in her powerful intercession, I beseech your mercy. Before you I stand, yet with all my heart I confess my heartfelt sorrow for having offended you by my numerous sins.
To you, most powerful Child of Atocha, because you are who you are, God of God, I am asking that you give me the contrition you gave Saint Dismas when he was nailed to the cross with you; that you give me the tears you gave Saint Peter the night he denied you; and the sweet contrition of Saint Augustine, that I may return to you all my heart.
Oh merciful Child! Forgive me for having offended you. With the help of your grace, I resolve to sin no more. I ask this grace through the intercession of your sweet mother, Santa Maria de Atocha.
I will wait for you and I trust you. Because you are faithful even though we are unfaithful, I hope to obtain your pardon, my salvation. and all I hope for in this novena. I am confident that you will not refuse my petition, if it be in accord with your will. I trust you will use my sorrows, my poor works, my needs, my grief, as a means to sanctify me. Grant me joy to balance my affliction, freedom of spirit in my prison - you alone are my Savior. I beg you to help me, to assist me, and especially to be with me at the hour of my death, that I might praise you forever in your Holy Kingdom, where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen. - Adapted from Novena Prayers to Santo Nino
*When I first heard that Archbishop Nienstedt stepped aside because of accusations against him, my first reaction was to make an act of contrition for my sins. It seems to me personal repentance may be the correct first response to tragedy. It certainly seems to be an appropriate preparation for Christmas.