“God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won’t.” ~ Alfred Korzybski
Oh, how very true. When we go to confession, we hear some very profound words as the priest prays the absolution over us: “God, the Father of mercies, through the Death and Resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and poured out the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Those words can bring incredible peace. There are many people — myself included — who often state that, upon hearing them, it feels as if a weight has been taken off of our shoulders. If that is the case, however, than why do we put the weight back on ourselves? By that, I mean, why don’t we forgive ourselves if we know that God has just done so?
Korzybski correctly reflects upon our human nature. God is willing to forgive our sins and, indeed, does so. However, our humanity often works against us and doesn’t allow us to forgive ourselves. I should say that it is our humanity, coupled with guilt heaped upon us from the devil, that prevents us from forgiving ourselves.
Just when we tell ourselves that we are truly forgiven, that tiny whispering voice of the enemy says to us, “Are you sure? Are you really sure? Do you think you can be forgiven? After all, would you forgive that sin if someone asked you to do so?” All those questions stoke up the fires of doubt in our minds and robs us of the joy of the forgiveness that we have received in the sacrament.
The enemy can be cunning, of that there is no doubt. However, there is also no doubt in this: God is greater than our enemy and He loves us completely and forgives us when we come to Him with repentant hearts.
FAITH ACTION: Learn to appreciate the meaning of the absolution you receive in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and, in turn, ask God for the abundant grace that you need to forgive yourself.