Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Many Opportunities to Repent of Our Sins
The other day I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love for Jesus and then great sorrow hit me. I started reflecting back on my life and regretting many decisions I made over the years. My sins and failings especially those times when I was selfish, self-centered, and proud really started to make me uncomfortable. I know deep in my heart that I have been forgiven for all those sins so it wasn't fear of not being forgiven that bothered me. It was instead the realization on the many times I had hurt God with my sins and offenses that made me sad.
I then started to think if only I could start all over from the time I reached the age of reason and do everything in my power not to sin. I began to wonder what exactly was my first offense, my first sin against God. What venial sin did I commit? Was it arguing with my siblings? Disobeying my parents? Those types of sins may seem innocent and not worthy of confessing, but if compared with the perfection of God, they did in fact offend God.
Of course, going back to that moment in time before having committed the first sin is impossible. Yet, with the sacrament of reconciliation, we are again and again given the opportunity to repent of all our sins.
Should we dwell on past sins that have been sincerely confessed and from which we have been absolved? Of course not! It is even listed in an Examination of Conscience I found:
- Have I brooded over my past sins, giving in half-voluntarily to the fear that they might not be forgiven?
- Have I permitted discouragement to take possession of my heart because of my frequent faults or my lack of progress in virtue?
If we do not believe that God has truly forgiven us of our sins, we do not believe in the infinite mercy of God.
I just have to keep remembering Jesus' words "Go and sin no more".