“I have sinned greatly in what I have done.” – 2 Samuel 24:10
I entered the confessional box and began, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” After enumerating my offenses, what the priest said made my heart sink: “I will not absolve you from your sin. You have to stop the sin that you are doing.” I went to confession to be cleansed and released from my sin, but I left feeling down and defeated.
I didn’t know that a priest can withhold his absolution. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy, He used that experience to push me to seriously change my ways. I avoided occasions of sin in my life. I fought to stop repeating the same sin.
And by God’s grace, I am free from that sin that held me in bondage for a long time. I thank God for the priest who withheld his absolution.
Truly, in everything, God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Reflect: Are you struggling with a habitual sin? Confess it to God and
to a priest. Receive God’s grace to overcome it and be free.
Father, thank You for Your grace in the sacrament of reconciliation.Cleanse me. Purify me. Transform me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.