I left the Church last year and became LDS/Mormon for a while (long story). I was called back “Home” to the RC Church in February. I spoke with my pastor, had the Sacrament of Reconciliation and made a signed Profession of Faith. However, I still feel like I’m somehow not entirely forgiven, like there should be some “hoop” I should need to jump through. I know I’ve done what I needed to and love being back at the Church, but how to get over that feeling?? Any ideas? I do struggle with anxiety disorder, so this might be playing into it. I just keep thinking how stupid I was to leave the Church and feel terrible about it.
During that Confession in February, Father would have said something like, “Be joyful because Easter is coming. Jesus has died and risen again for the forgiveness of our sin.”
That is all to it.
Humanly speaking, it is hard to imagine how we could be forgiven when we did something wrong. We feel we need to do something to pay for it.
It is not like that with God. He had paid for our sin and lest we forget, it was with His own life. To doubt that would be to doubt that He had died, … for us. All that is required of us is to make the turning back, repentance, a change of heart.
It is good to feel the guilt because it shows we acknowledge it was wrong. But we should now feel the joy that we have the Savior who forgives our sins and as a result we are as white as snow.
Learn to be grateful. That I think will overcome the guilt simply because you are not guilty anymore. When you went for Confession, the verdict was pronounced – NOT guilty.
The sin(s) are forgiven and “This sacrament reconciles us with the Church” (Catechism 1469) yet (Catechism 1459):
Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. 62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.”
1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.” 85
St. Catherine of Siena addresses this problem in her writing. She said that we should not think about individual forgiven sins or to dwell on them. Because it will hurt our relationship with Jesus to think about them and our betrayal of him. Once forgiven, we should not return to them, even to be grateful for having been forgiven … because it reminds us of what we did wrong and hurtful to Jesus … bad feelings we aren’t getting over.
She did say that we should be grateful and thankful for God having forgiven us in general for our sins. And that is as far as we should carry this dwelling on our past sins … just in general for all sin, not specifically for any one sin. Once forgiven God wants us to wipe it out of our mind and move on and think about other spiritual thoughts. God wants you to make progress in your sanctity and this continual thought about one sin holds that back because of preoccupation with it.
And what you have expressed is just what St. Catherine was referring to. Just don’t let your mind go there.
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