The First Motive for Conversion:
The Thought of Death and the Fear of Hell.


"And the rich man also died, and he was buried in hell."--Luke xvi. 22


Why serve the world, thy enemy,
And from thy thankless heart dethrone
That God, whose love created thee
To love and serve Himself alone?

Slave of a tyrant thou dost live;
He promises, and breaks his word;
And for thy service nought can give
But bitter thorns as thy reward.

Remember, death will come one day,
His touch thy fragile life destroys;
Then, then, alas! will fade away
Earth's cheating hopes and empty joys.

All worldly pleasures then will be
To thee but weariness and woe;
The scene of life must close for thee,
Thy part is played, and thou must go.

Forth flies the spirit from this clay,
Alone before its God to stand;
The soul scarce yet has passed away,
The Judge already is at hand.

Ah! miserable, thoughtless one!
Say, what excuse thou darest bring
Before that gaze of brightest sun,
The face of thy offended King.

What horror then the soul shall pierce,
When, spurned away by heavenly ire,
'Tis hurled into the torment fierce
Of never, never-ending fire.

Think, then, ere yet this life is o'er,
On that whereon thy all depends;
That evermore or nevermore,
Eternity which never ends.






The Second Motive for Conversion:
To delay Repentance is to expose Oneself to Destruction.


"Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day. For His wrath shall come on a sudden, and in the time of vengeance He will destroy thee."--Eccles. v. 8, 9



Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Awake, O man awake:
If but one sin may take
Thy dreaming soul to death's dark goal
How canst thou sleep with sin upon they soul?

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

If but one mortal sin
An endless doom will win;
Can slumber be so sweet to thee
Upon the brink of thine eternity?

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Awake--put off thy sin,
A better life begin!
And, oh, confess thy sinfulness,
Lest, waking, thou shouldst wake to wretchedness.

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Arise, O man, arise!
Think how each moment flies;
Ah! dare not say--delay, delay--
Since thou to judgment mayst be called today.

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Oh, think, unhappy one!
That ere the set of sun,
Souls there will be, as brave as thee,
Cast out to weep for all eternity!

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Oh, rest not on thy bed
Again thy weary head,
Till thou hast striven to be forgiven--
Till thou thy wand'ring eyes hast turned to heaven.

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!

Oh, look,--as yet thy God
Withholds the chastening rod!
How patiently He waits to be
Entreated that His love may shine on thee!

Awake, O soul, awake!
From sinful slumber break;
Life hurries by, oh, hear the cry!
Awake and tarry not--thy end is nigh!






The Third Motive for Conversion:
The Infinite Goodness and Love of God towards us.


"He that spared not even His own Son; but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us all things."--Rom. viii. 32



Oh, come to the merciful Saviour that calls you,
Oh, come to the Lord who forgives and forgets;
Though dark be the fortune on earth that befals you,
There's a bright home above where the sun never sets.

Oh, come then to Jesus, whose arms are extended
To fold His dear children in closest embrace!
Oh, come, for your exile will shortly be ended,
And Jesus will show you His beautiful face.

Have you sinned as none else in the world have before you?
Are you blacker than all other creatures in guilt?
Oh, fear not! oh, fear not! the mother that bore you
Loves you less than the Saviour whose blood you have spilt!

Oh, come, then, to Jesus and say how you love Him,
And swear at His feet you will keep in His grace;
For one tear that is shed by a sinner can move Him,
And your sins will drop off in His tender embrace.

Then come to His feet, and lay open your story
Of suffering and sorrow, of guilt and of shame;
For the pardon of sin is the crown of His glory,
And the joy of our Lord to be true to His name.






The Fourth Motive for Conversion:
The Infinite Yearning of Jesus Christ for our Salvation.


"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how ofton would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not."--Matt, xxiii. 37



Souls of men! why will ye scatter
Like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts! why will ye wander
From a love so true and deep?

Was there ever kindest shepherd
Half so gentle, half so sweet
As the Saviour who would have us
Come and gather at His feet?

There's a widenesa in God's mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea:
There's a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth's sorrows
Are more felt than up in heaven;
There is no place where earth's failings
Have such kindly judgment given.

There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Saviour;
There is healing in His blood.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind,
And the Heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

There is plentiful redemption
In the Blood that has been shed;
There is joy for all the members
In the sorrow of the Head.

If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.






The Work of Grace

"Today if you shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts!"--Ps. xciv. 8

How the light of heaven is stealing
Gently o'er the trembling soul!
And the shades of bitter feeling
From the lightened spirit roll!
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.

Fairer than the pearly morning
Comes the softly struggling ray;
Ah, it is the very dawning
That precedes eternal day!
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.

See the tears, the blessed trouble
Doubts and fears, and hopes and smiles!
How the guilt of sin seems double,
And how plain are Satan's wiles!
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.

Now the light is growing brighter,
Fear of hell and hate of sin;
Another flash! the heart is lighter;
Love of God hath entered in.
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.

See, more light! the spirit tingles
With contrition's piercing dart;
More, and love divinely mingles
Ease and gladness with the smart.
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.

Free! the joyous light of heaven
Comes with, full and fair release;
O God, what light! all sin forgiven;
Jesus, Mary, love, and peace.
Sweetly stealing, sweetly stealing,
See how grace its way doth feel.






Colloquy between the Good Shepherd and the Sinner

"What man is there of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which is lost until he find it? and when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing."--Luke xv. 4, 5


The Good Shepherd

Return to God, poor sinner, it is meet--
Delay no more to bend thy rebel knee.
His holy law thou'st broken; I entreat,
Return to Him, who seeketh after thee.


Sinner

Behold, O Lord! this lost and straying sheep
Whom Thou didst degn to seek for, oh! how long!
Aroused at last from its long deadly sleep,
Guilty, confused, this heart repents its wrong.


The Good Shepherd

To call thee back My voice has long resounded,
I've followed thee with blessings far and near,
Wounding thy God's--a Father's heart thou'st wounded,
Ungrateful still wilt thou refuse to hear?


Sinner

Ah! dearest Lord! I sought, but sought in vain
A spot where I might lose the dread of Thee,
Wand'ring and lost, how could I know but pain,
Estranged from Thee--and Thou estranged from me?


The Good Shepherd

Now grief, now joy; now terror and remorse,
In tender love I sent thee o'er and o'er.
With grace I tried to stay thy headlong course,
My grace was spurned--but still offer more.


Sinner

My Lord! I do repent me sore and sadly,
Yea, Father! tho' I've sinned 'gainst Thee and heaven.
Forgive, forget the course I've run so madly,
And breathe the blest, the sweet word--thou'rt forgiven.


The Good Shepherd

Repentant child, thy heart is all I seek,
And when thy heart is given all to Me,
My mercy takes thy service, rendered meek,
And rains down grace and love unceasingly.


Sinner

My God! how good Thou art to all of those,
Who with sincere repentance Thee implore;
With grief and love my swelling heart o'erflows,
Oh, give me grace to love Thee evermore.






Hymn of Thanks to the Good Shepherd
by one who has been brought back to the Fold.


"I am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine and Mine, know Me."--John X. 14


I was wandering and weary.
When my Saviour came unto me;
For the ways of sin grew dreary,
And the world had ceased to woo me.
And I thought I heard Him say,
As He came along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me;
I am the Shepherd true.

At first I would not hearken,
And put off till the morrow;
But life began to darken,
And I was sick with sorrow;
And I thought I heard Him say,
As He came along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me;
I am the Shepherd true!

At last I stopped to listen,
His voice could not deceive me;
I saw His kind eyes glisten,
So anxious to relieve me:
And I thought I heard Him say,
As He came along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear me;
I am the Shepherd true!

He took me on His shoulder,
And tenderly He kissed me;
He bade my love be bolder,
And said how He had missed me;
And I'm sure I heard Him say,
As He went along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me;
I am the Shepherd true!

I thought His love would weaken,
As more and more He knew me;
But it burned like a beacon,
And its light and heat go through me;
And I ever hear Him say,
As He goes along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me;
I am the Shepherd true!

Let us do, then, dearest Brothers,
What will best and longest please us.
Follow not the ways of others,
But trust ourselves to Jesus;
We shall ever hear Him say,
As He goes along His way,
O silly souls, come near Me;
My sheep should never fear Me;
I am the Shepherd true!






Act of Contrition

"In the multitude of Thy mercy, hoar me, O Lord.--Psa. lxviii. 14


God of mercy and compassion!
Look with pity upon me!
Father! let me call Thee Father!
'Tis Thy child returns to Thee!

Jesus! Lord! I ask for mercy.
Let me not implore in vain!
All my sins--I now detest them
Never will I sin again.

By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery;
Hell, with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity!

Jesus! Lord! I ask for mercy.
Let me not implore in vain!
All my sins--I now detest them
Never will I sin again.

By my sins I have abandoned
Right and claim to heaven above;
Where the saints rejoice for ever
In a boundless sea of Love.

Jesus! Lord! I ask for mercy.
Let me not implore in vain!
All my sins--I now detest them
Never will I sin again.

See our Saviour, bleeding, dying,
On the Cross of Calvary;
To that Cross my sins have nailed Him,
Yet He bleeds and dies for me.

Jesus! Lord! I ask for mercy.
Let me not implore in vain!
All my sins--I now detest them
Never will I sin again.






Act of Supplication--Sorrow for Sin

"A contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."
Psal. I. 19



Jesus, my Lord, behold at length the time
When I resolve to turn away from crime.
Oh, pardon me, Jesus;
Thy mercy I implore;
I will never more offend Thee,
No, never more.

Since my poor soul Thy Precious Blood hath cost,
Suffer me not for ever to be lost.
Oh, pardon me, Jesus;
Thy mercy I implore;
I will never more offend Thee,
No, never more.

Kneeling in tears, behold me at Thy feet;
Like Magdalene, forgiveness I entreat.
Oh, pardon me, Jesus;
Thy mercy I implore;
I will never more offend Thee,
No, never more.






Act of Sorrow for Sin--Regret of the Past

"Turn away Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities."--Ps. cxviii. 163


My God, grant by my tears,
The sins of years I may efface;
Thy mercies still increase,
And all my bonds release;
I can no longer live in Thy disgrace.
Have mercy, Jesus! Sovereign Good!
Spare me through Thy Precious Blood.

Alas I in sinful ways
I've passed my days,
From earliest youth: E'en until now my time
Hath been one course of crime.
Oh, how I've strayed from Thee, Eternal Truth!
Have mercy, Jesus! Sovereign Good!
Spare me through Thy Precious Blood.

How oft on me, Thy child,
Thy grace hath smiled
To win my love!
But cold and heartless I did from my Father fly;
And turn my back on Thee, my God above.
Have mercy, Jesus! Sovereign Good!
Spare me through Thy Precious Blood.

Alas! how near my share
Was black despair, in endless pains!
My God! that dreadful fire,
Enkindled by Thine ire!
How could I dwell therein bound down in chains!
Have mercy, Jesus! Sovereign Good!
Spare me through Thy Precious Blood.

Behold me at Thy feet,
Spare I entreat Thy suppliant child.
For me was pierced the side
Of Jesus crucified;
In mercy look upon His face so mild.
Have mercy, Jesus! Sovereign Good!
Spare me through Thy Precious Blood.






Act of Detestation of Sin, and Firm Purpose of Amendment for the Future

"I have hated and abhorred iniquity."--Ps. cxviii. 163


My God, who art nothing but mercy and kindness,
Oh, shut not Thine ear to the penitent's prayer;
'Tis Thy grace that hath cured me, dear Lord, of my blindness,
Thy love that hath lifted me up from despair.

There is not one evil that sin hath not brought me,
There is not one good that hath come in its train;
It hath cursed me through life, and its sorrows have sought me,
Each day that went by, in want, sickness, or pain.

I abjure the dark spirit who fondles yet hates me;
I abjure mortal sin, the black gift he hath given;
I hate it for fear of the fire that awaits me,
I hate it for hope of God's beautiful heaven.

I hate it because the dear Lord that would ease us
Sweated Blood when He thought of the horror of sin;
I hate it because it hath crucified Jesus,
Who hath done all He can the worst sinners to win.

And I swear to Thee, yes, dearest Jesus, oh, let me,
In the strength of Thy grace, swear an oath unto Thee;
No sin! never more! if Thou wilt not forget me,
But in Thy sweet mercy have mercy on me.








Prayer To Obtain Grace To Conquer Our Passions
St. Johns Manual, 1856

Holy God, Father of mercies, who hast created me only to serve thee in the liberty of thy children, permit not that I should longer be subject to the degrading slavery of my passions, and assist me in the struggles, without which I can never hope to escape from their oppressive bondage. O Lord, thou knowest my weakness, and the strength of the enemies who have dominion over me; thou art the continual witness of my faults and miseries; I am puffed up with pride; my feelings are embittered by resentment and ill-humor; I am indolent in the discharge of duty, and the few good works I perform are corrupt by self-love, which insinuates itself into my best actions. O my God, how wretched a slavery for a soul, which, notwithstanding these and innumerable other miseries, desires to belong unreservedly to Thee alone! My resolution is taken; whatever it may cost me, I am determined to listen no more to the dangerous suggestions of my evil inclinations, but to avoid sin and conquer the passions which unhappily lead to it. In thy name, O Almighty God, I will take up arms against the enemies, which so many others have happily combated with the assistance of Thy grace. In Thy name, also, I hope to gain the victory, through the merits of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.





Prayer To Obtain The Conversion Of Sinners.
St. Johns Manual, 1856

O God, have mercy on me a sinner, and permit me to offer Thee my earnest supplications on behalf of all souls in sin; for thou willest not the death of a sinner, but his conversion: When Moses besought Thee to pardon a rebellious nation, Thou couldst not resist his entreaties. It grieves Thee, when none interpose to appease Thine anger; Thou commandest us to pray for one another, assuring us that by causing a sinner to be converted from the error of his ways, we deliver our own souls from death, and cover a multitude of iniquities. Relying on Thy merciful promises, I come before Thee with great confidence, to implore for others the pity I so much need myself. Forgive them, O Lord! for they know not what they do; open their eyes, that entering into themselves, they may see the extent of their crimes, and feel how sad a misfortune it is to have forsaken Thee. Open their ears to the sound of that Almighty voice, which can raise the dead to life; soften the obduracy of their hearts, that they may no longer resist Thy grace. Remember Thy tender mercies; remember the precious blood of Jesus Christ; save the souls which have been purchased at so great a price. Hear our prayers, inspired by the Spirit of Thine own charity, and offered from the sole motive of pleasing and glorifying Thee. Amen.




A Sinner's Prayer
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

O my most sweet Mother, how shall I die, poor sinner that I am? Even now the thought of that important moment when I must expire, and appear before the judgment-seat of God, and the remembrance that I have myself so often written my condemnation by consenting to sin, makes me tremble. I am confounded, and fear much for my eternal salvation. O Mary, in the blood of Jesus, and in thy intercession, is all my hope. Thou art the Queen of Heaven, the mistress of the universe; in short, thou art the Mother of God. Thou art great, but thy greatness does not prevent, nay, even it inclines thee to greater compassion towards us in our miseries. Worldly friends when raised to dignity disdain to notice their former friends who may have fallen into distress. Thy noble and loving heart does not act thus, for the greater the miseries it beholds the greater are its efforts to relieve. Thou, when called upon, dost immediately assist; nay, more, thou dost anticipate our prayers by thy favors; thou consolest us in our afflictions; thou dissipatest the storms by which we are tossed about; thou overcomest all enemies; thou, in fine, never losest an occasion to promote our welfare.

May that Divine hand which has united in thee such majesty and such tenderness, such greatness and so much love, be forever blessed! I thank my Lord for it, and congratulate myself in having so great an advantage; for truly in thy felicity do I place my own, and I consider thy lot as mine. O comfortress of the afflicted, console a poor creature who recommends himself to thee. The remorse of a conscience overburdened with sins fills me with affliction. I am in doubt as to whether I have sufficiently grieved for them. I see that all my actions are sullied and defective; Hell awaits my death in order to accuse me; the outraged justice of God demands satisfaction. My Mother, what will become of me? If thou dost not help me, I am lost. What sayest thou, wilt thou assist me? O compassionate Virgin, console me; obtain for me true sorrow for my sins; obtain for me strength to amend, and to be faithful to God during the rest of my life. And finally, when I am in the last agonies of death, O Mary, my hope, abandon me not; then, more than ever, help and encourage me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, which the evil one will then place before me.

My Lady, forgive my temerity; come thyself to comfort me with thy presence in that last struggle. This favor thou hast granted to many, grant it also to me. If my boldness is great, thy goodness is greater; for it goes in search of the most miserable to console them. On this I rely. For thy eternal glory, let it be said that thou hast snatched a wretched creature from Hell, to which he was already condemned, and that thou hast led him to thy kingdom. Oh, yes, sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of remaining always at thy feet in heaven, thanking and blessing and loving thee eternally. O Mary, I shall expect thee at my last hour; deprive me not of this consolation. Fiat, fiat. Amen, amen.