It is a shame that God’s mercy is exploited so much. Our Lord has told us, through St Faustina for example, that He wants us to trust in His infinite mercy. However, that does not mean that we may sin, in the knowledge that He will forgive us.
Once a fellow Catholic and I were discussing dating and she was speaking with me of a man that she had been on a date with the night before. He (also a Catholic, in name) had wanted to sleep with her, but she was telling me how she really didn’t want to do that because then she’d have to go to confess it and that would be painful. Yes, you’d have to do that, but that’s not the sole reason why you shouldn’t sleep with him. Confession is your safety net when you go wrong, despite the best of intentions (on your part) but shouldn’t we not want to sin because of love of God, because of the pain we cause Him by doing so?
I had a little debate on a different blog (I really am going to start saying that prayer that is on Fr. Z’s blog before I decide to comment on a blog again…) and I was told that I was condescending and not capable of robust discussion because I accused another Catholic (accused is maybe a bit strong, I said they seemed Protestant) of espousing a Protestant idea: that because I am loved by God and because I acknowledge that love and that mercy, I’m going to heaven. Yes, God’s mercy is a wonderful thing and we must trust that God will pick us up when we sin, but I’m not going to abuse His mercy by saying that sin is not very serious because I know He will forgive me. If you knew that somebody loved you very much, to the point where they would forgive you anything you did to them, I would hope that you wouldn’t abuse that love by behaving without regard for their feelings. I would hope that, because you knew how deep their love was for you, that you’d do everything not to hurt them.
I want Our Lord to feel about me as He did about St Faustina. He said to her,
“Your soul is My heaven”
Can you imagine that?
Our Lord could rest in St Faustina’s soul because He knew that she was devoted to Him, not because of what she could receive, but just for love of Him. He said to her,
“Now I know that it is not for the graces or gifts that you love Me, but because My will is dearer to you than life. That is why I am uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature”
Let’s trust in God’s unending mercy but not use it as an excuse for bad behaviour. Let’s aim for sainthood but be glad of God’s forgiveness if we fall short.