Forgiveness is Not an Option
Forgiveness is not an option. Confession is an integral part of the sacramental life of Catholicism. Over the years, however, regular use of the Sacrament has steadily fallen off, The approach to the Sacrament has also been changing.
Older Catholics were told to name their sins, but now “modern” religion texts have been teaching a more general approach. Instead of naming each and every sin, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is urging a general confession of our sinfulness not the individual sins.
Pope John Paul II recognized this trend and saw a huge danger. He said if we cannot face up to the actual sins we have committed, then we might fail to recognize how much we need God's mercy.
Our culture tends to reduce just about everything to its cost or value. Even tragedies are are weighed according to their monetary impact. Just look at the awful disaster in Texas - always talking about the amount of loss and how much it will cost to rebuild
Sirach wrote in an age when human interaction was based on a code of honor and shame. What Sirach had to say ran counter to what most people thought. Sirach teaches that real honor will be found in not seeking revenge, but in offering forgiveness. His point is that if we act with honor toward those who offend us, then God will be compelled to act with honor toward us by extending mercy. If we forgive, then God will forgive. Matthew approaches this from an opposite side, God has forgiven us, so we should forgive others.
Our debt to God is so huge, it is impossible to repay. Jesus presents us with a king who forgave a debt that was impossible to repay, but the king forgave it just as we are to forgive. The usual number of times a person was to offer forgiveness was four - but Jesus said no - He said 77 times. Forgiveness is not an option. Those who think otherwise “will suffer the Lord’s vengeance.”
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