Repentance, Confession Leads to Forgiveness! By Father Anand Muttugnal
04 Apr 2013
We need to forgive the trespasses of others for our forgiveness. This is the result of repentance. Thus, one becomes holy and is part of all religions without any exception. Even though Buddhism does not speak of confession in general but the Pali Canon demands that a monk must confesses their individual wrong doings or sins to superior of the house. Another Indian religion Jainism clearly speaks about confession and forgiveness and it has made compulsory for all followers at least once a year in the Shamavani Parv. Judaism and Islam teach that confession is a must for forgiveness for both sins against God and human. If the sin is so grievous then, the sinner should seek forgiveness from those he sinned.
The Catholicism is the only religion that has made it mandatory for its followers to confess sins to a priest and do the penance given by him for forgiveness without any exception. The Catholic Church teaches that ‘confession and repentance are necessary requirements for complete forgiveness.’ The sinner not only confesses to a priest (God) but also seek to settle with those against whom sinned for complete forgiveness. One of the greatest theologians Saint Augustine says, ‘confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.’ When we confess our sin to God, His response is not to scream at us, He doesn't scoff at us and say, "I will make you pay." It is a big welcome with open arms. We confess our sins with the belief that “he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”, (1 John 1:9). If we believe that Jesus has already paid the price of our wrong doings then God's response to our confession of sin is forgiveness, restoration, and a new life.
In the history there are many characters who sinned and covered up. King David is one of the greatest examples in the Bible who committed adultery and to cover up murdered the witness. Since he was the King the entire official machinery supported him. In-spite of all support from the administration King David repented because he was a God fearing man who recognized the voice of God through Prophet Nathan.
The history has attributed to Hitler that he often used to say "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield until some consequences emerges. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” In any case the truth will prevail one day, we need the patience to wait for that day and hour.
What is important in the life of a person is that wrong doings definitely takes place but how does one repent for the mistake. It is easy for people in power to get many people to support them in their wrong doings. Saint Faustina says, "Pride keeps the soul in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery." Confession and repentance move us forward into the future that God has for us. A true repentant soul says with humble heart in the voice of St. Francis of Assisi, “I have been doing all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone”.