But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. // Ezekiel 18:27-28
Every New Year’s, my family clicks through the Saint’s Name Generator online and lets a saint randomly “choose” us. One year, my son got Saint Claude de la Colombiere, and I discovered a story about him that changed my life—and my understanding of Christ’s mercy.
Saint Claude was living in France when Jesus started appearing to Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque with the message of His Sacred Heart. Few people believed her visions were authentic, so Jesus instructed her to ask Claude to be her spiritual director. Claude was understandably skeptical himself, so he devised a test. “The next time Jesus appears to you,” he told Margaret Mary, “ask Him to tell you something only He could know: the last mortal sin that I confessed.” When Jesus appeared again, Margaret Mary did as instructed. In reply, Jesus simply looked at her intently and said, “I don’t remember.”
Needless to say, Claude became her spiritual director, and they both rose quickly to sainthood through God’s mercy and grace. I, for my part, still tear up at this reminder that God’s mercy is as infinite as His love.
I have sinned greatly in my life. Gravely, at times. No doubt you have too. Yet every time we drag our shackles of sin to the confessional, the Lord not only frees us, but says the same thing to me, to you, “I forget.”
Our God Who is all-powerful, all-seeing, and all-knowing actively chooses to forget our greatest offenses against Him—because He loves us so much that He only desires to remember our dignity. If our God so chooses to forget, why bow to the enemy’s reminders that only tempt us back into slavery?
In the place of our rightful shackles, the Lord holds out His hand to lead us to freedom and life. In place of the shame-filled mire the enemy seeks to drag us back into, the Lord lifts our chin with a gentle finger to the healing radiance of His face.
What sin or shame is holding you captive? Run to the confessional, and let the Lord remind you of who you truly are in Him.He lead us to freedom. // Megan Hjelmstad Click To Tweet