Friday, September 5, 2008

Finding Forgiveness

Q: I did something that made me feel dirty and guilty. You know, I was thinking it was bad and sinful at the moment; but I did it anyway. I can’t confess it because I’m too ashamed. People have told me, before this happened, that if you are a 100% sorry, you should forgive yourself because God already did. This is eating my insides.

A: If you are 100% sorry for a mortal sin you committed, you can still be forgiven and reach heaven, but believe me it isn’t worth risking going to hell for eternity. All it takes is one mortal sin to get you on the road to hell. Play it safe and go to confession. When we’re not in a state of grace our very soul is at risk. Confession brings that risk factor to a minimum. Only through the Sacrament of Confession can we be absolutely sure that we are forgiven, and through confession we can attain graces critical to our salvation. No matter how ashamed you are you should still go to confession. The priest doesn’t even need to know who you are, and he’s not going to yell at you or anything. Actually, he will be very understanding, and will give you counsel to help you from messing up again. In fact, that’s the whole reason he sits in that little stuffy room for I don’t know how long, solely to help you. You really have no reason to be afraid, it’s understandable to be nervous, but you needn’t be afraid. Yes, you may feel rotten, but you messed up and feeling guilty is not necessarily a bad thing. It says in the Bible that those with no shame are capable of the greatest evil (Jer. 8:12, Zeph. 3:5). Sorrow for sin is a good thing and we shouldn’t be afraid to go to confession because of it. Just go to confession, you’ll feel a lot better.