FORGETFUL FORGIVENESS

The one prerequisite for membership in the true Christian church is that you be a sinner. If you do not think you are a sinner, you are not a candidate for the church. But the other side of the paradox is that Christianity holds that if you confess or acknowledge your sins with contrition, then it is wiped out. The word “contrition” is very important here, and what is required is feeling bad, suffering over what you have done. If you acknowledge your sin with contrition, then the slate is wiped clean. It is as if the sin never existed. You can start over again fresh and clean every time.

There is a very sweet story about this concept. A little Filipino girl said she talked to Jesus, and people in her village began to get excited about that. Then word got around to some of the neighbouring villages, and other people began to get excited about it. Finally, word reached the Bishop’s palace, and the Bishop became somewhat concerned, because, after all, you can’t have any unauthorized saints walking around in the Catholic Church. So he appointed a monsignor to investigate the case.

The little girl was brought to the Bishop’s palace for a series of psychotheological diagnostic interview. At the end of the third interview, the monsignor threw up his hands and said, “I just don’t know, I don’t know what to make of this. I don’t know whether you are for real or not. But there is one acid test. The next time you talk to Jesus, I want you to ask Him what I confessed to at the last confession. Would you do that?” The little girl said she would. She went away and came back for her interview the next week, and with barely disguised eagerness the monsignor asked, “So my dear, did you talk to Jesus again this past week?”

She said, “Yes, father, I did.”

“And when you talked to Jesus this past week, did you remember to ask Him what I confessed to at the last confession?”

“Yes, father, I did.”

“Well? When you asked Jesus what I confessed to at my last confession, what did He say?”

And the little girl answered, “Jesus said, ‘I have forgotten.’”

If the one we sin against forgives and forgets, why do we want to bother ourselves by keeping our confessed sins in mind? Once our sins are confessed with contrition, they are forgotten: they no longer exist in the mind of God. Let that guilt go now!

Courtesy: page 158, Further along the road Less Travelled, m. scott peck

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