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Saturday, March 13, 2004

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Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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a guilt trip to jesus

"Who is there like You, the God Who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of His inheritance?" —Micah 7:18

Guilt is the spiritual counterpart to physical pain. Both pain and guilt cry out to be stopped as soon as possible. The only good way to stop guilt is to repent and believe that the Lord treads underfoot our guilt, casts "into the depths of the sea all our sins" (Mi 7:19), and removes our sins from us "as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12).

If we don't go on a "guilt trip" to the Lord, we may try to repress or deny our guilt. This self-deception has such dire consequences as self-hatred, rage, various addictions, and other avenues of self-destruction, even directly committing suicide.

When some people refuse to repent and also see how humanly impossible it is to deal with guilt, they decide to stop any more guilt from starting. They do this by killing their consciences and surrendering the ability to know right from wrong. These people live in a preview of hell where they pretend there is no good or bad, right or wrong. Random violence and senseless injustices punctuate the lives of these people. They not only degrade themselves but also damage many other lives.

Let us in thanksgiving turn to Jesus and repent. "He is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:2).

Prayer:  Father, may I go to Confession frequently and joyfully. Make me a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18).

Promise:  "But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found." —Lk 15:32

Praise:  Suicide seemed reasonable until Thomas was led to share his thoughts with a Christian brother, who led him to a greater hope and trust in the risen Lord.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Guilt, Guilt-Trips, and Scrupulosity or our audio tape AV 105-1 or video V-105.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003