Because God “responds right away with generous forgiveness… for the faithful who repent and are forgiven, despite life’s trials, a new horizon of safety, faith and peace” is opened up, said the Holy Father at this morning’s weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
His expounded on Psalm 31, entitled “Thanksgiving for the forgiveness of sins,”in which we find the “personal testimony of a convert” who has committed “serious sins and does not have the courage to confess his sins to God. It is a terrible interior torment, described with strong images. … The convert feels the weight of the hand of God on him, conscious that God is not indifferent to the evil perpetrated by man, because He is the guardian of justice and truth.”
“Unable to go on in this way, the sinner decides to confess his sins with a courageous declaration which seems to foreshadow that of the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable,” said the Pope.
The Lord “promises to help the converted sinner,” said the Holy Father. “It is not enough to be purified; we must walk on the just path. … True justice entails conversion, leaving vice and its dark power of attraction behind. But above all it leads to the enjoyment of that peace which comes from being freed and forgiven.”
“We can apply this psalm,” he concluded, “to the sacrament of confession. In reconciliation, one experiences the recognition of sin, often suppressed in our times, and at the same time, the joy of being forgiven. The strict logic of ‘sin-punishment’ has been replaced by the joyful reality of ‘sin-forgiveness’ because the Lord is a God who forgives faults, offences and sin.”