We all need it, don’t we? Even though we do everything in our power to convince ourselves that those things that we know we shouldn’t do are really not sins, our conscience somehow finds a way most of the time to convict us. What to do? We could of course take the path of our Protestant friends and simply and directly ask God to forgive our transgressions. It sounds so good and simple, but we all know that more often than not we don’t do it. And what is worse, even when we do we are left with nagging doubt about whether God actually forgives us or not.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
There is a way to be certain that we don’t hide behind ourselves with respect to our sins. It is called the sacrament of reconciliation and it is available to us any time we need it. Through an examination of our conscience, we open our heart to the reality of our sinfulness and are able to express them to Jesus through the ministry of the priest. In response, the Lord expressly forgives us all of our transgressions.
It’s the best feeling anyone can ever hope to have.