Contents
Septem Psalmi Paenitentiales
Seven Penitential Psalms
Confessio

These seven psalms, 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142 (Vulgate numbering) have long been associated with penitential devotions. St. Augustine is said to have had them placed before him to read while he was on his deathbed. They have also been often commended as a defense against the seven deadly sins, each Psalm being associated with one of them. The form below was taken from the Coeleste Palmetum, which was assembled by Wilhelmus Nakatenus (1617-1682), and has intervening prayers against each of the seven deadly sins.

Ant. Ne reminiscaris Domine delicta nostra, vel parentum nostrorum: neque vindictam sumas de peccatis nostris. Ant. Remember not, Lord, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers, nor take Thou vengeance upon them.
Psalmus VI Psalm 6 (6)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra superbiam Prayer against pride
Humiliavit semetipsum Dominus noster Iesus Christus, factus oboediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis: et ego vilissimus terrae vermiculus, ego pulvis et cinis, ego peccatorum maximus, qui millies infernum merui, non vereor me animo efferre? Propitius esto mihi, Domine: agnosco et detestor exsecrabilem arrogantiam meam. Ne, obsecro, cum superbo Lucifero eiusque adseculis in gehennae barathrum me deturbes: convertere et eripe animam meam; adiuva me et salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam. Elegi in posterum, abiectus esse in domo Dei magis, quam habitare in tabernaculis peccatorum. (Ps 83:11) Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, obedient unto death, even death on the Cross. And I, the most vile of worms, am but dust and ashes. I am the greatest of sinners who has merited hell a thousand times, do I not fear my soul to be carried off? Be gracious to me, O Lord. I acknowledge and detest my cursing arrogance. Do not, I beseech Thee, throw me down into the pit of Gehenna along with proud Lucifer and his servants. Turn to me and rescue my soul. Help me and save me on account of Thy mercy. I prefer to lie abject upon the threshold of the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of sinners. (Ps 83:11)
Psalmus XXXI Psalm 31 (32)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra avaritiam Prayer against greed
Quid mihi est in caelo1 et a te quid volui super terram, Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in aeternum? Non satiatur oculus visu, nec auri impletur auditu: satiabor, cum apparuerit gloria tua. Eheu quod tanto hactenus studio Mammonae servivi: Et quid mihi proderit, si universum mundum lucratus fuero, animae vero meae detrimentum patiar? Dormierunt somnum suum omnes viri divitiarum et nihil invenerunt in manibus suis, confitebor adversum me iniustitiam meam Domino, et tu remittes, spero, impietatem peccati mei. Pauperis in posterum miserebor, male parta restituam et tuo me servitio ferventius impendam. Tu, Domine, adiuva me, qui reples in bonis desiderium meum. (Ps 102:5) What is mine in heaven and so what should I want on earth from Thee, O God of my heart and my portion in eternity? The eye is not satisfied, nor is the ear filled, but I shall be satisfied when Thy glory will have appeared. Oh how I have served Mammon with such zeal so far! And what will it profit me if I have gained the whole world if indeed I shall suffer the loss of my soul? All the rich have gone to their sleep and found their hands empty. I will confess to Thee, my Lord, my unjust deeds, and Thou shalt, I pray, remit the impiety of my sins. In the future I will have mercy on the poor, I shall give until it hurts and I will expend myself fervently in Thy service. Help me, O Lord, Thou who filleth my desires with good things. (Ps 102:5)
Psalmus XXXVII Psalm 37 (38)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra iram Prayer against anger
Homo homini reservat iram; et a Deo quaerit medelam? In hominem similem sibi non habet misericordiam, et de peccatis sui deprecatur? Quis exorabit pro delictis illius? (Eccli 28:3-5) His verbis mihi, Domine Deus, loqueris per servum tuum filium Sirach. Et ego post hac iram aut odium contra quemquam fovere audeam? Parce, Domine, parce malitiae et pertinaciae meae, in qua hucusque perseveravi. Ex animo nunc ignosco et remitto, quidquid ullus unquam in me peccavit; supplexque oro, Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me, neque in ira tua corripias me; utinam tamquam surdus in posterum non audiam, et sicut mutus non aperiam os meum; quando inimici mei contra me insurgunt et vim faciunt, qui quaerunt animam meam. Ne derelinquas me, Domine Deus meus, ne discesseris a me: quoniam tu es patientia mea. (Ps 70:5) Should man reserveth anger for his fellow man and yet seek remedy from God? Should he that hath no mercy on one like himself entreat God for his own sins? Who shall obtain pardon for his sins? (Sir 28:3-5) By these words Thou hast spoken to me though Thy servant Sirach, O Lord God. And after this dare I foster anger and hate against anyone? Spare me, O Lord, spare me of my malice and stubbornness in which I have persevered even unto now. From my soul I now overlook and forgive whatever anyone has done against me. I humbly beg Thee, O Lord, do not rebuke me in Thy anger. O how would that I be like the deaf who does not hear and the mute who does not speak whenever my enemies rise up in force against me, those who seek my soul. Do not forsake me, O lord my God, do not depart from me, for Thou are my patience. (Ps 70:5)
Psalmus L Psalm 50 (51)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra luxuriam Prayer against lust
Pater, peccavi in caelum et coram te, et iam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus. Quid faciam miser? Non enim permanebit Spiritus tuus in homine, quia caro est. Ah! miserere mei, miserere. Quod cum tot reproborum milibus, quos hodiedum abominanda luxuriae pestis in Gehennam praecipitat, captus non sim, infinitae tuae bonitati adscribo. Ergone iterum peccabo? Iterumne pretiosissimum Sanguinem tuum, O Iesu, in ablutionem scelerum meorum effusum, amore bestialium voluptatum, conculcabo? Absit, O Iesu, absit! Obsecro te, O Fili castissimae Virginis Mariae, a spiritu fornicationis libera me. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea, et a peccato meo munda me. Ne proiicias me a facie tua, et Spiritum Sanctum tuum ne auferas a me! Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and now I am not worthy to be called Thy son. What shall I, wretched that I am, do? For Thy Spirit shall not remain in man, for he is flesh. Oh have mercy on me, have mercy! I attribute to Thy infinite goodness that I am not taken along with the many thousands of the damned, who the cursed abomination of lust casts headlong into Gehenna even today. Shall I therefore sin again? O Jesus, in the love of base pleasures shall I again trample under foot Thy most precious Blood poured forth in the washing away of my sins? Far from it, O Jesus, far from it! I beseech Thee, O Son of the most chaste Virgin Mary to free me from the spirit of fornication. Wash me from my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin. Do not cast me from Thy face nor take Thy Holy Spirit from me!
Psalmus CI Psalm 101 (102)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra gulam Prayer against gluttony
Me miserum, qui te, Dominum Deum, fontem aquae vivae reliqui, et mihi fodi cisternas delectationum terrenarum, cisternas dissipatas, quae continere non valent aquas! (cf Jer 2:13) Vere oblitus sum comedere panem meum, panem vitae, omne delectamentum in se habentem, et omnis saporis suavitatem, ventremque porcorum siliquis implere studui: (Lc 15:16) adhuc escae erant olim in ore Filiorum Israel, cum ira Dei descenderet super eos: et mihi toties est parcitum, qui cibi postusque intemperantia tuam imaginem, Deus, et similitudinem brutis, non tibi similem feci! Utinam in posterum cinerem tamquam panem manducem, et potum meum cum fletu misceam, cibusque meus sit, tuam in omnibus facere voluntatem, qui torrente voluptatis tuae potabis nos. (Ps 35:9) O wretched me, who hath forsaken Thee, Lord God, the font of living water. I have dug myself cisterns of earthly delights, broken cisterns, that can hold no living water! (cf Jer 2:13) Verily have I forgotten to eat my bread, the bread of life, having in it all delight and sweetness of taste. Instead I was eager to fill my belly with the husks pigs eat. (Lk 15:16) As yet food was in the mouth of the Sons of Israel, when God's anger descended upon them: and is so often spared me, who thru intemperance of food and drink has been formed in the likeness of a beast and not in Thy image, O God. O how in the end might I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink. May my food be to do Thy will in everything, Thou who shalt make us drink from the river of Thy delights. (Ps 35:9)
Psalmus CXXIX Psalm 129 (130)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Oratio contra invidiam Prayer against envy
Sic, mi Deus, dilexisti mundum, ut Filium tuum unigenitum dares, ut omnes qui credit in te non pereat, sed vitam habeat aeternam. Tu solem tuum oriri facis super bonos et malos, et pluis super iustos et iniustos: et ego, dum aliis bene est, invidia exstimuler: omnia mihi ex voto evenire exoptem, proximi tamen vel minima felicitate contrister? O inhumana malitia! o virus infernale! Ignosce, clementissime Pater, quod in eo hactenus a me peccatum est. Benigna est misericordia tua. Fac ut et ego ex hoc momento induam sicut electus Dei, viscera misericordiae, BENIGNITATEM: et super omnia caritatem habere studeam, quod est vinculum perfectionis. (Col. 3:14) O my God, Thou so lovest the world that Thou gaveth Thy only begotten Son so that all who believe in Thee might not perish, but may have eternal life. Thou maketh the sun rise upon the good and the bad, and Thou raineth upon the just and the unjust. Yet I am filled with jealousy while others prosper. I want everything to come to me, and I am saddened by my neighbor's least good fortune! O what inhuman malice! O infernal poison! Forgive, o most loving Father what up to this point has been my sin. Gentle is Thy mercy. From the depths of that mercy, grant that henceforth I may be robed in kindness as a chosen one of God. May I also, above all, strive to have charity, which is the bond of perfection. (Col. 3:14)
Psalmus CXLII Psalm 142 (143)
Gloria Patri, etc. Glory be to the Father, etc.
Ant. Ne reminiscaris Domine delicta nostra, vel parentum nostrorum: neque vindictam sumas de peccatis nostris. Ant. Remember not, Lord, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers, nor take Thou vengeance upon them.
Oratio contra acediam Prayer against sloth
Ecquando, mi Deus, ex toto corde meo, ex tota anima mea et ex omnibus viribus meis, uti par est, te amare et laudare incipiam, qui in caritate perpetua dilexisti me tibique me sponsasti in sempiternum? Eheu! dormitavit anima mea in prae taedio. Vae mihi, quia adeo hactenus in tuo servitio fui tepidus, ut merito formidare possim, ne me incipias evomere ex ore tuo. Sed parce, Domine: non intres in iudicium cum servo tuo, quia non iustificabitur in conspectu tuo omnis vivens. Expando manus meas ad te: anima mea sicut terra sine aqua tibi. Velociter exaudi me, Domine; defecit Spiritus meus. Spiritus autem tuus bonus deducet me in terram rectam. Et propter nomen tuum, Domine, vivificabis me. (Ps. 142:11) O my God, did I ever begin to love Thee and to praise Thee with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength, in some part equal to Thee, who in Thy perpetual charity chose me and committed me to Thee forever? Alas, my soul has slept out of tedium! Woe to me, for so far until now in Thy service I have been tepid, so that I might be able to fear rightly, do not begin to vomit me from Thy mouth. (Rev 3:16) But spare me, O Lord, do not enter into judgment with Thy servant for none of the living are justified in Thy sight. I stretch out my hands to Thee, my soul is as earth without water unto Thee. Hear me speedily, O Lord, my spirit hath fainted away. Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land. For Thy name's sake, O Lord, Thou wilt give me life. (Ps. 142:11)

Psalms from the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, Prayers from the Coeleste Palmetum, 1742, &; Orate Fratres, 1900. Tr MWM.
1 The 1742 edition has "caelos", the psalm and later editions show "caelo".



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