There is a special kind of joy when your mother shows up and tells your children stories about your childhood. Apparently, when I was around eleven years old I often went bike riding with a girl in the neighborhood. I don’t really remember it but apparently that summer we biked all over the North End of Dartmouth. What I do remember is that we hardly spoke a word to one another. I must have been too shy. An affliction that still dogs me.
If I could have been cured of it, I would have endured the foulest of medicines. There is still no cure, but that the thought of being left alone forces me to make the choice, most of the time, not to let the shyness win. This is an example of the cure being the force of human will. What about bigger things? Say like, I don’t know, SIN!
The Church traditionally teaches about two kinds of sin. The first are those things done or left undone that are contrary to God’s will. In other words, the things we have control of. The second kind of sin is simply the human condition, of feeling separate from God. Which may be our fault, I don’t know.
If either of these kinds of sin are barriers to the fullness of joy of being in right relationship with God, then God will deal with our sin by forgiving us. That’s right – God forgives us. Because choosing not to forgive is choosing to end the relationship and what matters to God is our relationship. Even if we aren’t perfect God still loves us, forgives us and calls us into relationship with God (and one another).
God’s forgiveness is not conditional on anything we can do – it is based solely on God’s awesome desire to love. To deny God’s love is truly a sad choice.