>> 03 August 2016

A catechist was concluding  her class on forgiveness of sins and the sacrament of reconciliation. She asked a question to her children, "Tell me, what we must do first, to obtain forgiveness of sins?" An innocent child replied, "Sin!"
                    A young woman, who led a sinful life, became thoroughly depressed and decided to commit suicide by jumping into the sea from a tall rock on a sandy beach. As she walked along the beach towards the rock, she felt that she should write her sins on the sand before ending her life. She sat down and wrote her major sins on the sand and stood up to read it. Suddenly a strong wave washed the shore and erased her words completely. Seeing the blank beach, she recalled and realized the power of God's forgiveness. She rushed to a church and confessed her sins. She started a new life of peace and hope.

                   St. Anthony of Padua was in the confessional. A penitent person came for confession, but he was overcome with repentance, sorrow and nervousness and so could not utter even a word. The saint advised him to go home, write his sins on a piece of paper and return with it. When he returned, he was asked to read the sins one by one. As he read out each sin, the inscription of the sin vanished from the paper miraculously. Finally, at the end of the confession the paper became blank. The saint asked him to burn the paper showing him that God has forgiven and forgotten all his sins.
                   A young man approached Archbishop Fulton. J. sheen and asked him how he could be sure that his sins would be forgiven by God after the Sacrament of confession and reconciliation. The Archbishop led him to a beach and asked him to collect a handful of sand. He then asked him to throw the sand into the sea.  Then he asked the young man if he could recover or recognize the grains of sand he had thrown away. The man understood the power of God's forgiveness. When God forgives our sins, he casts our sins into an ocean of mercy, kindness, forgiveness and forgetfulness. St. Isaac the Syrian taught, "Our sins are as so many grains of sand cast into the ocean of God's mercy."
                 The Lord says, "Now, let us settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool" {Isaiah 1:18}.

© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.

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