A prayer of Reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to repair the "sins of others" as well as our own sins, e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy, the sufferings of Jesus Christ or as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary. These prayers do not usually involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair sins. Before asking any favor, be it for yourself or for someone else, it is proper to ask for forgiveness of sins.

A person having mortally sinned is not really in the State of Grace. Mortal sin is almost any sin against the Ten Commandments or thinking about the Commandments and desiring to sin against them with full knowledge and intent to do wrong. Someone, non-Catholics, for example, who have not heard of the Ten Commandments, cannot be held responsible. But certainly any Christian knows the Ten Commandments. There are government entities in the United States that are doing their very best to make the Ten Commandments less obvious by removing Plagues and Stone Replicas, but that doesn't make the sinner less responsible.

Suffice it to say that everyone is responsible for their actions. How responsible is not mine to judge. I leave that to God unless it is blatantly obvious. For example, a person shooting another person in the street has gone off the deep end if it wasn't as a result of a State of War. And, by the way, soldiers aren't particularly happy to shoot anyone, but when it is necessary to defend a governmental position in a formally declared conflict, they are not murderers, but they do what they are told and we do not have to pray for reparation. Of course if they "like" to shoot other people, there might be a theological question.

Given a ligitimate need for reparation, we should discuss these occurrences with Jesus Himself, or with a priest. Priests are equipped through their studies to deal with almost any circumstance that we might find ourselves in, and they will have a solution or an opinion. Some priests even have higher degrees in dealing with pastoral counselling or psychology, and they usually are a tremendous help. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR is an example of a very learned priest, and there are many others.

Reparation is not such a difficult thing. If you are praying for acts you committed, a well-meant Act of Contrition along with Sacramental Confession will help immensely. If you are praying for the reparation of sins of others, then again, pray deeply with feeling because you know that there is much evil in the world. So it needs a lot of prayer to overcome the evil.

Incidentally, if you are frequently bothered by temptation to do bad things, banish Satan from your life with a "binding prayer" stating firmly and unequivocally that he (the devil) is not wanted where you are, and that you are sealing the room you are in, the doors, windows, ceilings and floors, with the Blood of the Lamb. That is a very powerful prayer, for keeping the evil one at bay. The Bible tells us to pray in Jesus’ name (John 16:23). Throughout the New Testament, the apostles heal and do the works of the Lord in Jesus’ name (Acts 3:6). You and I transact spiritual business, so to speak, by using the currency of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we ask in Jesus’ name, we are saying to the Father, “Jesus would have asked this if He were physically here now.” Can you imagine what would happen to the church if believers took God at His Word and appropriated the power of the Holy Spirit? In the name of Jesus we can rebuke Satan and he will bother us no more, provided we curtain sin in our lives. We need to break down the walls, separating us from the Lord. Pray for reparation as you review those actions in your life.

The best way to find forgiveness and move on, is to go to confession frequently, whether you have done anything or not. Once a month is usually enough unless you are aware of special problems.

In the next segment, we will discuss 5. Prayer of Hope.

Please be well and May God Bless you all!

Fred S. Schaeffer, SFO