I frequently have people mention to me that they could never bring something into confession because they don’t think God will ever forgive them for what they did. Well, there are two things I usually say about this:
Suppose Adolf Hitler, right after he shot himself, had a moment of regret and asked God to forgive him. Do you think God would forgive him? They always respond, “of course!” (There would still be penance and Purgatory necessary, but God would forgive him.) If Satan himself should ever turn to God and say, “Father, I’m sorry for rebelling against you, and I’m sorry for harming your creation all these years! Please forgive me!” Would God forgive him? Again the answer is always, “of course!” So, I tell them, if God could forgive Adolf Hitler or Satan – with all the evil they did – do you think He will forgive you your sin, no matter how serious it is?” They immediately see the logic and say, “of course!” Remember that God is trying to get us into Heaven, not to keep us out!
Another help: When the Lord Jesus was revealing the Divine Mercy to St. Faustina, the priest who was her confessor was having difficulty figuring out whether the apparitions she reported were real or fantasy, so as proof, he asked Faustina to ask Jesus to reveal to her what the priest’s last mortal sin was. When she asked Jesus “What was Father’s last mortal sin?” Jesus responded, “I don’t remember!” Jesus did not die on the cross to hold us forever accountable for our sins but rather to take them away and forget about them! So don’t be afraid to bring your sins to Jesus for forgiveness, no matter how serious they may be. He WILL forgive you!
“Okay,” they may add, “but what if I keep committing the same sin over and over?” Well, one thing a priest is never allowed to ask you is “Will you promise me you will never commit that sin again?” He can’t ask that because you can’t promise that. All you can promise is that you’ll try, even if in the back of your mind you know you may fall again. Of course, if we have no intention of trying to avoid sin then we are not forgiven, but why would you bring it up in confession in the first place if you’re not sorry and are not even going to attempt to change?
“But does God ever get tired of forgiving us? Does He ever say we’ve exhausted our supply of forgiveness/ Will He ever say, ‘Hey! you’ve confessed this over and over and nothing changes! It’s time to bite the bullet and stop?'”
We might think He should – but He doesn’t! I find sometimes when I go to confession that the priest should say that to me, but he never does. God always forgives me, over and over and over, even if I don’t think He should. God has patience with me when I’ve lost patience with myself. That only tells me that God loves me even more than I love myself!
I came across an excellent video by Matt Fradd, a Catholic apologist, on this topic. It speaks of forgiveness, in this case for the repeated problem of viewing pornography. It is well worth viewing. Here is the link: http://mattfradd.com/2012/08/23/ive-confessed-this-1000-times/#respond
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