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The prophet Ezekiel wrote,
“Thus says the Lord God:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.” (Ez 18:21)
This statement gives hope for all sinners, including us.
As we turn away from sin, and turn to God, we will “surely live” and we “shall not die.”
The struggle against sin is the struggle to find life.
We will desire to change if we know we have a chance, if we remember that God is generous in love and will not hold the past against us. We are not held back by past sins, so long as we are sorry and repent of them, with the resolve to change. We are moved forward by hope in God’s mercy.
Sacramental confession is a gift that Jesus gives to help us let go of the past so that we can walk in the right direction to God.
Here is a simple act of contrition that is from the approved list of prayers for the Rite of Penance: “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.” It’s not hard to remember, but effective in receiving absolution.