If you sin, do not flee from God, but stand before Him and tell Him frankly of your embarrassment and shame, and tell Him that you are afraid. Be like the tax collector who was disturbed by his sins, yet did not flee, but came with all his sins to God and stood before Him in fear and embarrassment, unable to lift up his eyes, he stood afar beating his breast and cried out to God saying, ‘God have
mercy on me, a sinner!’
How is sex even remotely bad? I mean, everything in moderation of course, but really?
Sex IS beautiful! This prayer is intended for those who struggle with sins outside of its proper purpose - porn, masturbation, lust, homosexuality, and extramarital sex. Chastity is for all of us - single and married.
"Forever I will sing of the mercies of God."
These words by the psalmist may very well define my life and my person — an unrepentant sinner who, ever aware of the commandments of our Lord, still keeps on doing the very things which offend Him and yet also ever trusting in the greatness of His mercy.
It is written: “He loves much who is forgiven much.” But I seem not to see myself in this case as, with all honesty and consciousness, I really have not loved at all. I view love as something loftier than this world presents it to be. I view it in a rather radical perspective — that to love is to give yourself up, to suffer, to give until it hurts. I would always wonder how some people would proudly declare themselves to be in love along with all the wonderful feelings love brings. I cannot judge them though if it is indeed love they are feeling especially if it is towards the opposite sex.
Does this mean that I am not forgiven much? It might be — not in the sense that I have done little wrong, but that I have repented less. Every time I commit a sin, there is always this remorse in me — the unease which comes from the knowledge that I have offended our Lord. How I wish I could run immediately to the confessional and be washed anew. But the circumstances do not always permit this. And so it happens that with the passage of time, the devil gradually diminishes the good intention within me to seek forgiveness by rationalizing things. I always fall prey in this cunning snare of the devil. With my own idleness, I always put off the things which my soul badly needs.
With all the guilt which burdens my soul, there is only one thing I ask of our Lord — that He may be patient with me. “Lord, just be patient with me.” I would daily beg of Him. I sometimes would even ask Him if He could remove my will and liberty altogether, if He could drag me by the neck if that is what it should take for me to rectify my ways, if He could appear to me like He did to St. Paul. But no. I do not deserve such privilege. I realize that the road to repentance is hard and painful. And it still is. Thus it is written: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
"Forever I will sing of the mercies of God." When we try to ponder on God’s justice, we shall always feel in despair and lost, for righteousness is not to be found in us. But there is one thing which gives us hope — the mercy of God. Were it not for His grace, we are lost and perish everlastingly. It is this grace so precious which compels us to return to Him. And it is His mercy which opens the gates of the Father to His prodigal children. We appeal to His mercy as a guilty criminal would to obtain pardon. We find hope in this sure promise of Him which the likes of Paul, Augustine, and Francis did.
"Forever I will sing of the mercies of God."
God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.
The point is, were it not for Surah 4:157, the Qur’an would make plain reference to Christ’s death and, without addressing its means, at least would stand in line with history in acknowledging its reality (if not its intent, and without addressing the resurrection). So these forty Arabic words stand alone in the Qur’an. They stand alone without commentary in the hadith literature as well. They stand against not only the natural reading of other Qur’anic texts but also against the entire weight of the historical record. Forty Arabic words written six hundred years after the events they describe, more than seven hundred fifty miles from Jerusalem. Forty Arabic words that are not clear, not perspicuous, and yet this is the entirety of the foundation upon which the Islamic faith bases its denial of the crucifixion, and hence, resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consider, in closing, what this says about the Qur’an. Nothing in it suggests its author had even the slightest knowledge of the New Testament centrality of God’s redeeming act in Christ on the cross. The author knew nothing of Paul’s epistle to the Romans or the book of Hebrews and their in-depth case for and teaching about the Messiah’s redeeming death. The author seems blissfully unaware of the evidentiary mountain that substantiates the crucifixion. And yet with a few seconds of oral recitation, the Qur’an places itself, and all who would believe in it, in direct opposition not only to the Injil (Gospel) but also everything history itself says on the subject. The question must be asked: Who, truly, is following mere conjecture here? Those who were eyewitnesses on the Hill of the Skull outside Jerusalem? Or the author of the Qur’an, more than half a millennium later?