The history of humanity is filled with flawed, and sinful people, as recorded in the Bible and in other books.  The gift of free will that God has given humanity is not only a choice between doing good and evil, it is also a choice to repent (or not to repent), of our sins.  Pride and foolishness often stand in the way of us repenting, and we need help first to see and then acknowledge our sinfulness.  The seven penitential Psalms provide the help necessary to see our sinfulness.  Read through them, pray with them, study them, they will open your heart and convict you.

The seven penitential Psalms are a pious practice to pray before receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church  (#1457) reminds the faithful to confess all serious sin at least once a year. Note the first words of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (1:15): “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.” The word Repent in Greek is “metanoia”, which means “new mind”.  Repentance (a change of mind) is the first step, next comes contrition. The Penitential Psalms can help with both of these steps, and bring about in us the desire to want to go and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We repent and go to Confession because Jesus wants to give us the grace of the Sacrament.