I heard a priest say this on the radio this morning. The radio show is formatted for listeners to call in and ask the priest questions about faith, life, etc.
A woman called in today to ask about forgiveness. The basic idea of what she asked is:
“Are there limits to how many times God will forgive me for a particular sin? What if I struggle with the same sin, over and over?”
The priest’s answer focused on the confessor’s intent. A summary of his answer:
“Do you intend to remove that sin from your life? If so, you are in a position to be forgiven. Be comforted in knowing that every life is like a patchwork quilt, made of both virtue and vice.”
Many of us do battle with ourselves each day to keep our vices at bay. It is comforting to know that as long as we are willing to work at it, forgiveness (and healing) is within reach. The journey to overcome a vice is never easy, and we will most assuredly stumble, but God has given us abundant resources to quit even the darkest habits.
We are sinners, but there is also something so great within each of us that God cares about every hair on our heads. His example calls us to care for each other just as deeply, and part of that includes being an encouragement to others as they fight to overcome their sins.
My husband and I both worked on kicking a gossiping habit during Lent and we were very supportive of even the tiniest efforts. We were also honest and direct when one of us started to stray. I think having a “buddy” made all the difference for me.
Is there someone you know struggling with a particular vice? How can you uplift him or her today? If it is you, can you find a friend to help keep you accountable?