The Limitless Forgiveness of God


August 12, 2012 by mattfradd

If you’re like me you’ve wondered something like the following: “I keep on falling to the same sin over and over. Is the Lord’s mercy running out on me? Will he keep forgiving me?”

One day as I was waiting in line for confession and thinking something like the above I was reminded of the beautiful exchange between the Lord Jesus and St. Peter in Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Now when our Lord says “seventy times seven” he does not mean 490 times! Rather this saying denotes the limitless forgiveness and mercy Peter should aspire to.

So here’s what struck me. If God’s mercy was not like that — limitless — the Lord Jesus would be commanding St. Peter to act in a way which was inconsistent with, and indeed contrary to, the nature of God. In other words, the second person of the Blessed Trinity would have been commanding St. Peter to sin – which is impossible!

This revelation allowed me to relax in the knowledge that we have a God whose heart is mercy! A God who is infinite in all of his attributes – mercy being one of them – and I had nothing to fear.

Smile! Rejoice! those lame Facebook memes about how God loves you – they’re true!  Cheesy to be sure – but true!

6 thoughts on “The Limitless Forgiveness of God

  1. al says:

    We must ask for forgiveness sincerely; resolving to amend our lives and avoiding whatever temps us to sin.

  2. Sometimes I too feel like God should say through the priest, “Listen, you keep confessing this every week but nothing changes! It’s time to put your money where your mouth is! I’m tired of you saying you’re going to change but then never doing it. So no, I won’t forgive you. You’ve used up all your mulligans and time outs!” But He doesn’t! He forgives me over and over again. God seems to have patience with me even when I’ve lost patience in myself! I guess He loves me even more than I love myself!

  3. Patrick says:

    I think that the evil one’s tactic with every human being is to constantly attack our weak points. Over a long period having established his hold over our will, he then tempts us to lose hope and fall into despair. This is the example given us in the Gospels by Judas and it is contrasted with the example of St. Peter. It is only with the strength given to us by the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion which allows us to overcome temptations. Today many Catholics and especially non-Catholics fall into the sin of presumption where sinful behavior is taken for granted and eventual heavenly glory is taken for granted. We should all hope for God’s mercy no matter how great the sinner at the hour of our death but never take it for granted. The Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox are taught to pray constantly the ancient Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”

  4. Lori8069 says:

    Just like in any other relationship we have, our relationship with God also is made much better by us being truly sorry for our offenses. Being sorry holds much weight–more weight than the often-repeated, troubling sin does.

    Confession, and being forgiven for sins we are truly sorry for, is just one of the many “perks” of being Catholic–and could be the very best one!

  5. Al says:

    Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.

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