guilt

God’s mercy and hell

Once, when I was mired deep in guilt and shame at my sins, I realised how merciful God is, as I thought, if it would please or satisfy God for me to go to hell, I would, rather than repent and sin again, insulting His grace and surely displeasing and dissatisfying Him further. I considered it perhaps preferable to be tortured as the wretched sinner I am, rather than live a disgraceful inconsistency between good and evil, constantly offending things so holy. But it couldn’t please God for the worst sinners to go to hell, because I wasn’t in hell, and the Son of God lived and died and lived again to save us sinners from hell, apparently with no regard to “justice”.

Realising God’s mercy was always there, regardless of my sin, even caressing my sin, greatly deepened my feeling of guilt against such a kind God, but made it healthy and hopeful, and showed me that repentance/penance is a great duty to merciful God, rather than a selfish opportunity to escape God’s justice. His love is inescapable and terrible, revealing all the darkness of sin by His light, and inviting us in, to be bathed in His light. It is God’s unbelievable goodness that makes evil so terrible, and His unending mercy that makes guilt truly unbearable.

God bless you

My First Confession

I received the Sacrament of Confession for the first time last week, and I feel it would be good to share some thoughts from it.

Beforehand, I felt an almost overwhelming guilt. It was painful. But as I thought about receiving the sacrament of forgiveness for my sins, it remained painful, but it felt like it was good pain, like God’s grace was attacking the sins already. As I made my way there, my heart was thumping heavily.

When I finally had the sacrament, I felt great shame at my sins, but I felt like they were being destroyed and washed out even as I confessed them. What really struck me was how my confessor showed no signs of judgment at all. I had come ready for being told, at least a little bit, how bad I had been, but there was nothing except forgiveness. The absence of judgment and ready forgiveness really showed me an image of holiness. It really made me appreciate priests, who are blessed to even administer God’s forgiveness.

Afterwards, I felt liberated. There was no more guilt. I was happy, and light as a feather. A few hours after, I noticed that I felt naked [I was outside at the time, and genuinely wondered if I might be]. I felt like I was naked before God, and He accepted me in my vulnerability. I had revealed myself to God. Of course, God already knew everything to begin with, but by the sacrament, I had gone out of my way to show myself to Him. God hadn’t just happened to oversee my sins, but I had presented myself, in all my sinfulness, to Him intentionally. I think this is part of why He gave us this sacrament. It was liberating.

All in all, it was a terrifying experience, and a good, healing, surprisingly liberating experience.

Pope Francis goes to Confession

Pope Francis recently went to confession publicly. I’ve heard that he usually goes every two weeks (privately).

May God bless you