I am a Chinese Catholic and many of our prayers are translations from some original Latin edition.
One of the most beautiful is the traditional Act of Contrition which is still commonly used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to track down the original. [In Chinese?] I wonder if you or anyone you know might be able to help me track down the original. (I have already done a fair amount of Googling but perhaps just have not hit on the right Latin phrase)
It is more scarily forceful than most modern Acts of Contritions I have seen. Bizarrely, it is this total reckless commitment which my three young sons (the oldest has just had his First Confession) find appealing.
Here is a loose translation from quite formal Chinese into English:
“My Lord Jesus the Christ, the God who made me, raised me and saved me, I am a grievous sinner who has offended God. Now out of my love for God over all of creation, out of a sincere and profound repentance, and detesting my sins, I resolve to amend my ways, so that even in the face of death I will not dare to violate my God’s commandments. I beseech my Lord, in remembrance of the merits of Your passion, have mercy and forgive my sins.”
It is a little unclear to me precisely what he wants. Maybe you can chime in and create clarity.
Also, keep in mind that you cannot cut/paste Chinese, or other special charaters of many languages, into my combox without losing the characters. They turn into ?????????. You have to convert the special characters to to HTML. I use this converter HERE.
In the meantime, here is the English of the Act of Contrition which I favor, I recommend, I propose, I endorse:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
This is pretty much a rendering of the Latin:
Deus meus, ex toto corde paenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen.
That said… everyone… examine your consciences and…
GO TO CONFESSION!