God Always Accepts Us Back

Sin, it tears us away from God. While it tears us away from God, many forget that God always accepts. It is our guilt that keeps us from going back to God. God always accepts us back when we have strayed. A terrific post, titled What God Thinks of Sinners (Luke 15:1-10) shared a very wonderful verse that I wanted to share with you:

Luke 15:3-7

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

It justifies the love that God has for each and everyone of us. He does not give premature judgement but accepts us, gives us a chance and welcomes us back into His arms when we go astray. Our God is the God of love and forgiveness. There is none greater than the One True God. There is no love greater than His love. God always accepts us back because he is so great.

Having The Power To Forgive

Forgiveness does not come easy for most of us. Why? Because it is a part of our human nature to protect ourselves. It is primitive survival reflex to remember what hurt us and shun away from it or even repel it–doing theis is like our way of making sure that we are not harmed by the same things over and over again.

However, the Bible clearly states that the act of forgiveness is a Christian duty we must all fulfill. Matthew 6:15 tells us that,“If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” And in Colossians 3:13, the Apostle Paul counsels us to, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Forgiving is so hard because it requires us to go against our natural instincts. As we know, overcoming our human inclinations is very difficult. I believe that to really forgive and let go of all the pain and grudges is something that we have the capacity can do. It is only through the help of the Holy Spirit that we will be able to have the strength to let go of all the hate and forgive.

If you are struggling in offering someone forgiveness, reading this post might give you some great insights: “How Can I Forgive? How Can I Forget?

God Gives Us All the Gift of Forgiveness

Our beloved Pope Francis gave his first Angelus on the theme of forgiveness, focusing mainly on the inexhaustible and all-encompassing forgiveness that our Lord gives. His beautiful homily did not only remind me of how much God loves me but also made me reflect on my own attitude towards forgiveness.

While all of us feel grateful for the mercy and forgiveness that we readily receive from God, offering our forgiveness to others still does not come easy for most of us. Unlike our compassionate and forgiving God, we don’t naturally overflow with mercy, grace and forgiveness. Some people even spend their lives harboring hatred for those that have done them wrong.

However, God counsels us to forgive our fellow men in the same way that He has forgiven all our wrong doings. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

And while it is very clear in the Bible that the Lord’s grace and mercy is unconditional and not based on one’s forgiving others, this verse makes it clear that the Lord cannot fully free us from our inequities unless we free ourselves from the hatred that we are harboring against other people. Forgiveness is a gift; and when we forgive others we give this gift not only to them but to ourselves as well.

Read about one’s woman’s experience with harboring hatred and forgiving others in this post: “Forgiveness.”

Forgiving Yourself As A Parent

Have you caught yourself in the middle of the day recalling a parenting mistake and feeling very ashamed or guilty of your actions? Yes? Same here. Well I think all parents have these moments. As no one of us is perfect, no matter how wonderful we want to be for our children. It is true that we are bound to commit a blunder at some point. While it is typically normal for parents to recall these regrettable moments, constantly thinking about them can negatively affect us–and our family as well.

As sad as it may be, our parenting errors are irreversible. The best thing we can do from those moments of poor judgment is to learn from them. As much as we want to be faultless for our children’s sake, this is just not possible. But this does not mean that you can’t raise your children to become the best they can be. If you come to think about it, your imperfect children do not need a perfect parent. If you are perfect, they will just end up feeling bad about themselves because they are not. It is more important that your child sees how you cope with your imperfections and mistakes.

Let me share with you this inspiring post written by a mother who has struggled and overcome the guilt of parenting mistakes: “Like Beads On A Rosary.”

Forgiveness Is About You

God shows forgiveness alwaysToday we heard the passage where Peter asked Jesus when “my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?” Peter supplied his own first answer: “seven times?”

Jesus replied, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” He then went on to tell the parable of the servant who owed a large debt to his master, but had not repaid the debt.

The Master, filled with compassion, forgave the debt. But later, the servant did not exercise forgiveness when another servant owed him a debt.

Much of today’s homily was focused on forgiveness. Many people believe forgiveness is about giving someone a pass on work or letting them slide on a task that was done improperly or, in the example above, a debt that was not repaid. Another example could be “a sin against my brother.”

But actually, we do not forgive the other person.
Forgiveness is for us.

Because, to forgive is to let go of the resentment, the hurt (and often times the anger) which WE carry in our heart about the “problem.” Isn’t it true that when we are “hurt” by a sin committed against us, or some wrong-doing… aren’t we the ones who feel the hurt?

So, forgiveness is not about releasing the other party, forgiveness is about letting go of all the negative baggage, the bad feelings and the hurting emotions we punish ourselves with and carry around like a sad sack. Forgiveness can be a positive exercise… for YOU.

Wouldn’t you feel better if a problem was wiped off your slate? This is what Jesus is telling us to do. When someone wrongs us in some way, do not carry that badge of pain: let it go and move on. Forgiveness is about you beginning your own healing, and being in a better position to help others.

Now Jesus wraps up his parable by reminding Peter and the Apostles about what happens when we don’t exercise forgiveness. The Master later heard the servant had not forgiven another servant who also owed him a debt. Jesus concluded by stating “…so will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

The Sacrament of Reconciliation: A Refresher

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an important Catholic sacrament that all practicing Catholics should be taking part in regularly. However, if you haven’t been attending as regularly as you probably should be I bet you could use a reminder. Four words you want to keep in mind when thinking of Reconciliation are repentance, contrition, penance, and absolution. These four words represent what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. By regularly attending Reconciliation you can feel these four things in your life, and also begin to feel changes.

An article called, “The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Explained”, lays out all of the reasons why you should be going to Reconciliation regularly, and also explains how this can lead to a better life. You will feel good being less burdened by sin!

Learning to Forgive Others and Yourself

I read a very inspiring post today about forgiveness and its importance to many aspects of life. The post was featured on a site called Rediscovering Catholicism and is titled, “Forgiving Yourself and Others”. The author starts off by talking of how we must forgive others as God forgives us. This means fully and entirely without holding any grudges or dwelling on what happened. This is difficult to do and a struggle in itself, however it is not where forgiveness ends. We must be able to forgive ourselves for what we have done wrong. This might sound silly, but a lot of people have a hard time letting go and moving on when they have done wrong.

Nobody is a lost cause because God is always willing to forgive your sins. It might be hard to forgive a friend, family member, or yourself for wrongs you have done in your life. This is something we must all learn to accomplish though. Mistakes will be made along the way, but that is not a problem. God will always forgive you.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

He said “I don’t remember.”

I heard some great content — right from the pew “at the 7” this morning.

In Sunday’s first reading, Isaiah wrote about remembering your sins no more. Let it go, I am doing something new (things of long ago, consider not!). “It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.”

This lead to the topic of today’s homily.

This is a story I heard years ago, but did not recall it until I heard it again today. In the Philippines, there was a Catholic priest who carried a sin from his past. Apparently, the priest committed a sin way back, while in the seminary.

Yes, this priest had since repented a long time ago.

But the priest continued to carry the sin with him to the present day.

Carrying a sin beyond the confessional walls is such a needless burden.
Along the way, this priest met a woman who claimed to have visions of Christ, and said she would speak with God.

The priest asked the woman, “The next time you speak with God, ask Him what sin I had committed while in the seminary.” A few days later, the priest ran into the woman. And the priest asked, “Well, did you asked God what sin I committed in seminary?”

“Yes, I asked Him.”
“Well, what did He say?”

“He said, ‘I don’t remember.'”

Look, if God can forgive us and leave it all in the past — and cannot remember sins we seem to dwell on —

why do humans have such problems with forgiveness?

As we begin the season of Lent this week, the topic of forgiving others — as well forgiving ourselves — needs to be a topic to focus on. Why do you feel we have so many issues centering around “forgiveness?”