Act of Contrition and Opening Prayer
The powerful assistance the Blessed Virgin has shown to those faithful to her is proverbial. Especially is this true of those in the hour of death who have been unwavering in even the smallest practice in honor of the Mother of God.
Sinners and enemies of God who have led lives of the lowest level, who have descended from one crime to another, sinking deeper and deeper into the mire of sin, many of them have been raised on their death bed to return to their father's house lest they die in wretchedness and spiritual hunger.
The annals of conversions shortly before the entrance into the next world would fill libraries. The number of souls who have been saved from the punishment of hell is legion, twice multiplied. The stories, that might be related, reflect, in part, the magnificent attention and consideration that the Virgin Mother is evidently showering on her clients.
One particular instance bears repetition. It relates to a woman who had strayed after beginning a good life. She proved forgetful of her God and she soon lost respect for herself. The days and months found her farther from her duties as a Catholic. Eventually she abandoned all. She tried to forget what she had learned, she endeavored to smother the voice of conscience.
There remained a spark of faithfulness, smoldering in the ruins of character. Every evening, there was a pause in a life of wickedness to breathe a prayer, a lone Ave, to the Mother of God.
The years hurried on. The final summons was read. Death was expected at any hour. Friends has deserted her. She lay on her bed, fearful of the punishment she knew was reserved for those who despise God.
There entered the vestibule of hell, an ambassador of Christ. The dying woman was able to show some sorrow for sins. She confessed, was absolved, and died with a prayer on her lips, those lips that had known all forms of blasphemy. She had received the ministrations of a priest as she lay within the reaches of hell!
The answer was in that daily Ave. Mary had not forgotten her child, even though she had strayed far away!
Are, you faithful to at least a simple and easy daily practice in honor of the Blessed Mother of God.
O Virgin of Carmel, and Mary most holy, who, to those that devoutly wear the scapular, exercises a special help in the hour of death, securing for them the opportunity for penance so that thus they may pass out of this life in the grace of God and so be freed from the pains of hell; I ask that thou assist me in the hour of my death and obtain for me true and perfect contrition of all my sins, fervent love of God and a desire to see and enjoy Him; so that my soul may not be lost or condemned but rather that it may securely and swiftly attain the glory of eternal happiness.
Here recite three AVES for the special intention you have in making this novena.