Reflections on repentance
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have been absent from the Forum for some time; a combination of personal crises within the family and work commitments has tended to keep me away. But during that time I have been pondering something which Kyle's question in the 'Questions' section brings vividly to the forefront of my mind: that is the question of mercy and repentance.
Kyle's question, about the attitude of the Church to aspects of what might be called personal sin is one which I suspect many in our modern world would raise, for few there are, indeed, who go through it without encountering some of the things Kyle mentions. One of my friends recently commented, apropos his own position, that it was a good job he was not a Christian because the Church would condemn him.
Now he is no great sinner, he's a divorced man who lives with a woman with whom he has a 'committed long term' relationship. He was convinced, from his experience (ex-Catholic) that the Church would ave nothing to do with him. Perhaps because I said nothing at the time, his words have been on my mind, and they set me to thinking about the theme of repentance and mercy.
I was recently looking at St. John VIII: 1-11, the story of Our Lord and the woman taken in adultery, and, in compiling a collection of passages from the Fathers, I was struck by how unlike the stereotype of my friend they were. I'd like to share the passages with you in a second post here, and then see what, if any, your views might be.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)