WHAT IS SIN
In order to understand God’s divine mercy we need to understand what sin is and how it harms us, offends God and breaks our relationship with other people. We are made to be in communion with God. He wants to pour out his blessings on us, he wants to hear and respond to our prayers and to be with us on our journey of life. When we sin a barrier is built up between us and God. We can no longer receive all that he wants to give us and he cannot reach out to us as he wants. In his great mercy God has given us the means to break down this barrier. That is what he offers us in the Sacrament of Confession. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1440) says, “Sin is before all else an offence against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. And so it entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.”
St Faustina, the Polish nun, who throughout her life had visions and conversations with Jesus, wrote a diary recording the messages that Jesus wanted to give to the world about God’s divine love. Jesus told her that the mercy of God is far greater than any of our sins; it is unlimited and is way beyond anything that we could ever imagine. Jesus revealed to St Faustina that we can experience the mercy of God when we wholeheartedly repent of our sins and make the decision not to sin again. If we could only understand the depth of God’s love and mercy for us, we would not want to sin again. When we truly repent and turn away from sin we will feel the loving touch of God and come to know the depth of His mercy.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
To experience his mercy we need to reject sin with our whole hearts. The reason that we keep falling back into sin is that we don’t know the depth of his mercy. My friends say to me, “How can we stop sinning? At our age it is really difficult.” The Saints who went before us show that it is possible. They understood the depths of God’s mercy and were in awe of his great love for them so they didn’t want to hurt or offend him. Like us they had the power of the Holy Spirit within them and they allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them and show them the way to holiness. We also can call on the Holy Spirit, given to us in our Baptism and Confirmation, to help us to turn away from sin and experience the depth of God’s great mercy.
Sometimes our faith may be put to the test and our reaction should not be to turn away from God but to pray for strength. There are times when we will fail but God will always give us another chance. His mercy invites us to start again and keep trying, and with the help of the Holy Spirit we will learn from our mistakes and grow in holiness. Through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation we can be put right again with God and are restored to his grace, we are reconciled to each other and the slate is wiped clean for a fresh start. That is the great mercy of God drawing us back to him and giving us another chance.
Prayer: Let us open our hearts to understand the mercy of God. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in us and guide us so that we can understand what Jesus is saying to us. May the Lord bless us and keep us, may his face shine upon us, be gracious to us and give us his peace. Amen.
Written by : Joyson Joboy