True repentance is often a process. sometimes it’s easy to be deeply regretful for some big action you should never have committed, other times its harder to accept that you shouldn’t have doe that.
Ask yourself: if I was faced with the same choice today, would I make the same decision? Do I believe I did the wrong thing, or do I not accept that?
Some sins are affected by a strong force of habit, or by other factors that lessen the will to resist. example may be:
Smoking & alcohol consumption: these are addictive and can be singfull depending on the circumstances
sins of impurity: these are very habitual for many people. Our society constantly tell us they are not sinful. It is very hard to live a pure chaste life.
The “7 Deadly Sins” are a traditional list not of sinfull actions, but of vices / states of mind that lead us to sinfull acts. It is very hard to repent of these mind-sets.
Ask God. Pray for Him to fill you with a spirit of Repentance.
If you need inspiration look at the lives of some of the Saints who converted late in their lives. look especially at St Augustin. He was a real “Prodigal Son” and a libertarian. There were many more who converted after years of sin.
The bible never says that God doesn’t punish anyone. On the contrary it says the opposite. It says that no-one will enter Heaven until they have paid the last iota of their debt.
He does offer to each of us his total forgiveness for our Sins. He has paid the ransom for us. He has made it possible for us to accept his judgment, pass through the Fires of His Judgment, Purge ourselves of our Pride, and Lust and other worldly sins and enter into his presence.
Some people will face him and be so filled with sin, and unwilling to accept His Forgivness that they will reject Him and cast themselves into the Pit, and out of His presence forever. The effect of that will be a torture that will never end far worse than the loving punishment they would have endured in being cleansed enough to enter His Presence.
The first Gifts God gave to us were the Gift of His Life - he breathed his own spirit into Adam and Eve. in Hebrew the words Spirit, Life and Breath are the same word.
Then He gave us FREE WILL. to not permit the world to suffer the consequences of our actions is to not give us Free Will.
I’m a Dad. I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old.
Now my 1 year old is too young to understand Cause-effect. I must protect her from her own actions. if I dont she can get badly hurt.
My 3 year old is different He is very much learning about consequences. If I never permit him to make any decisions I am not helping him or teaching him.
If I never punish him when he does something wrong I would be doing him a very great disservice.I would be creating a monster and unleashing a psychopath on the world.
If I warn him no to do something, and he then does it and a toy gets broken, or a piece of food becomes inedible, then he learns that:
- when Daddy says “No” it’s best to listen"
- If I do something wrong there is a price to be paid i may loose a toy by breaking it, I may ruin or spill some food I was enjoying.
So: God gave His Chosen People a list of strict rules and consequences when the Human Race was learning and growing up. It had a “Didactic” or Pedagoglogical" function… like how I’m teaching my children
We Christinas have a faith which is the fulfillment of the Convenant. We are meant to be able to stand on our own 2 feet. Aware of the consequences of our actions, and able to follow the “Law that is written on our hearts”
We have a Church who can help us to interpret and understand taht Law, and teach us how to educate our conscience… but there must be consequence for sin:
If I pick up a Gun and kill the man next door because I dont like how he looked at my wife… there is consequence for sin:
There may be a horrendous consequence for the sin or lustfull thoughts that I perceived in that man.
There is definitely a horrendous consequence for Him and his Family for My sin of Wrath and Murder.
There will inevitably be a horrendous consequence for me and my family when the Civil Law comes to get me.
Now: If I realise my mistake and repent. doing my best to make any reparations possible (for a start I would be liable to look after the other man’s widow and children) I can ask God to Forgive me.
Jesus will say Yes. He has paid that price. I can be forgiven and enter His Presence.
But that does not remove the consequences for the sins. the Death, the widowed wife. the fatherless children in 2 families.
Similarly in leading a lifetime of attachement to the World. in leading a lifetime of far more minor sins when I die I am likely to not be in a state of absolute transcendent Grace like we might imagine St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross to be. No I am a sinner. I have a lot of attachemnet to sins. Sins of impurity. Lack of self controll. lack of Charity and love for those around me.
Pick a Virtue and I have transgressed against it.
Pick a vice and I have harboured it
I transgress against virtue and harbour vices every day. I love my worldly possessions. my computer, my smartphone, my TV, my car, my house by Guitar. I covet new possessions. I fail my wife and children all the time… I also love them deeply.