GOD REALLY DOES WANT TO HELP SINNERS GET TO HEAVEN
“God really does want to help sinners get to heaven. He wants all of us there. And that’s why he’s left us confession.
In confession, God’s mercy is on tap to all who need it. The people who commit the same sin again and again, can keep turning to him in sorrow and know they will always receive his merciful forgiveness. A man can commit the same sin ten thousand times, and ten thousand times turn to God with real repentance, and each time find our Lord as loving and merciful as ever. It would be awful to think that our sins could begin to exhaust God’s mercy. But they cannot. God’s mercy is infinite. Our sins, however many, are only finite in number. The finite cannot intrude into the infinite or begin to diminish it.
BRINGING US CLOSER TO GOD
Moreover, our repeated confessions slowly make us more humble, and thus bring us closer to God. Our sins will be expiated in purgatory, but our humility will be the measure of our eternal union with God in heaven. In fact, I’ve sometimes had the impression that God leaves some people with sins in order to prevent worse – the sin of pride. It’s pride that God fears more than anything to see in us. He may leave some people with a sin they hate, just to keep them from a pride that would prove fatal.
IT’S PRIDE THAT GOD FEARS MORE THAN ANYTHING TO SEE IN US
I once knew an old tramp who’d been struggling with a drink problem all his life. He told me that some days he’d be kneeling at the back of the church, begging God, ‘Lord, keep me away from it!’ and then he’d go out and get drunk again. When he was drunk he would steal, and thus he’d spend his life in and out of prison. He died with the Little Sisters of the Poor, and I used to think that this weakness had kept him holy.
He must have been a fine looking man when he was young, and I think he came of a good family. I suppose he could have done very well in a material sort of way and got rich and proud and drifted away from God and lost his soul. As it was, his weakness had kept him humble and forced him back to God and the sacraments again and again, and I really think that this is what God had allowed to bring him safe to heaven.”
– Fr Hugh S. Thwaites