Written By: Hannah Olt
Teacher: Fr. Noah Bushelli
Class: Level Vl Catechism
Sin is all around us and it’s unavoidable. Sin of course is not the desire of anyone and we eventually regret having sinned once we have done it. However, there is a process for us to truly repent. After sinning, repentance removes us from a state of sorrow into a state of joy.
When we sin, we do not response to our committed transgression by immediately asking for the forgiveness of God and the person we have sinned by. We have grief from the moment we recognize are committed sin and that grief is derived from our shame. We become ashamed at our wrong actions and then begin to fear the judgment of our Lord and of others and need time for a reflective preparation so that we may approach them again to as for forgiveness. We hide from God not because of our wound, but because we are searching for a cure while we only achieve to avoid our Healer. Just as Adam hid himself in shame, so do all of us in our shame, because a sin hurts, not only us, but God. We are grieved that we have hurt his creation and do not want God to look upon us with our wounds. The separation we experience is the natural consequence of sin. It is a small separation from God that we use to reflect on our wounds and then find a means of renewal again through our Physician. In this, we experience a “joyful sorrow” and though we may be morning for our sins, we also express the joy of reconciliation with ourselves, with God, and with others through repentance.
After sinning, repentance can be shown in actions such as an apology. It is openly admitting to the person whom you have sinned by and asking for their forgiveness. It is also an act of humility where, after having done wrong through disobedience we strive to reattach ourselves to living a life of obedience. Confession is a formal to God where we demonstrate our knowledge of the committed sin and ask for His forgiveness. We must repent and ask forgiveness of God and our neighbor in preparation for the Mystery of confession. We must recognize the transgressions and repent of them; an “Examination of Conscience”. In order to have true remorsefulness we must first examine our own faults. In Christ’s parable of the “Publican and the Pharisee” we are taught of true confessing. The Pharisee confessed the sins of the world and the Publican asked for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Sin has two aspects: act and motive. By doing an examination of our conscience, we focus on each action and find the deeper motivation for the action. It is important to remember that both the act and motive are sin, and once we confess the motive, which caused the act, the act will most likely not take place again. Then by knowing and reflecting over the sins that have been committed, “…by thought, by word, or by deed…” we can confess them to the priest.
Forgiveness is an act of healing. From scripture we see many examples of where Christ healed many through forgiveness both physically and spiritually. Asking for forgiveness is an act of supplication and humility. Repentance is a feeling of being remorseful and having a regret for the sins that were committed, as forgiveness enables us to recommit to our lives in Christ and one way to start is to make amends for what you had done. Amends unlike penance is something that you do to show that you are truly sorry and that you hope to improve in self-control and make it up to the person you sinned by, as well as God.
Sin is a trap, and repentance is what sets us free of the evil enslavement. Through contemplation we learn what caused the accident of sin to take place and repent. We then confess and ask forgiveness of those we have sinned by and to show that we are truly sorry for our disobedience we make amends. By our merciful and loving God, I hope to repent of my sins and to learn from them as I continue my life in Christ.