I just recently went to confession after, what was for me, too long a hiatus. I try to take advantage of the sacrament often, because of the abundance of graces poured out on me when I meet my Lord in the Sacrament of Mercy. I never understand why people wouldn’t want to go to confession. After I confess, I feel like a new person, like all things are possible. That God has given me a clean slate (though I still have to deal with the consequences of my sins). Like a dear priest has said to me many times in the confessional, “In confession, we start again. Not at the bottom of the mountain, but at the top.”
Maybe a person is scared that God could never forgive his sins. That somehow, his sins are “too much” for God. Jesus says to St. Faustina, “There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted, it increases” (Diary #1273). St. Paul also speaks of God’s fathomless mercy: “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20). Not, of course, to mean that we should go on sinning, but that God’s mercy and grace are boundless for those who come to ask it of Him.
I have heard priests speak before on the limits of God’s forgiveness. Now, I’m not a priest or a theologian (Thanks be to God!), but I’m of the mind that we cannot out-do God’s mercy. We can shun His mercy; we can harden our hearts through repeated unrepentant sin, but each time we come to Him truly sorry, truly seeking repentance, mercy and grace, He gives it to us without a moment’s hesitation. He loves us. Prodigally. Extravagantly. Recklessly. St. Paul says: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8.38).
Because His love never fails. His mercy never ceases. He wants, desires, longs to lavish His love on us. From the time of Israel until now, He has kept His covenant, kept His promises. After telling the allotments the tribes of Israel received in the Promised Land, the author goes on to state, “Not one of all the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed: all came to pass” (Joshua 21.45).
And so it is with us today, under the New Covenant. Not one of God’s promises has failed, nor will they ever. Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13.8).
He stands waiting, watching for His dear children to return to Him. To fall at His feet and say, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” He will pull us to our feet, embrace us and say, “My child, my dear, dear child. How I have longed to welcome you home.”