In preparation for the Holy Days of Easter, priests are once again busy in hearing confessions. (Although St. John Vianney was busy hearing confessions even outside the Lenten Season.) If we oblige ourselves to prepare for the offering of Mass with prayer, so should we also prepare in the same way for the hearing of confessions. The following is a prayer that the Raccolta proposes for a confessor to make before hearing the confessions of the faithful:
A Prayer to be said by Confessors before they hear the Confessions of the Faithful
Give me, O Lord, the wisdom that sitteth by Thy throne, that I may be enabled to judge Thy people with justice, and They poor and humble ones with true judgment. Grant me so to handle the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, that I may open it to none who ought to be shut out, nor shut out any to whom I ought to open. Let my intention be pure, my zeal sincere, my charity longsuffering, and my labor fruitful. Let me be kind without laxity, severe without harshness; let me not look down upon the poor man nor flatter the rich man. Give me sweetness that I may draw sinners unto Thee; give me prudence in asking questions; give me skill in instruction. Bestow upon me, I beseech Thee, zeal in withdrawing sinners from evil courses, diligence in establishing them in goodness, and earnestness in moving them to a better life: maturity in my answers, rightness in my counsels, light in obscure matters, insight in intricate cases, and victory over all difficulties; let me not be involved in useless talk, nor corrupted by shameful avowals; may I save others, without myself becoming a castaway. Amen.