Part II: Letting go of guilt.
Anything wrong, bad, horrible we’ve ever done (or thought of doing), any evil desires or thoughts we’ve had – no matter how horrific – no matter who it hurt – ANYTHING we confess to God will be by God be forgiven.
The next step to freedom is to make amends. Face those you’ve hurt and apologize expecting nothing in return. Restore and make things right as best you can.
Now, we who have transgressed must forgive ourselves, or to put it another way, we must learn to accept God’s forgiveness. We need to learn to let ourselves be loved, to open our hearts and fully feel the warming presence of God’s mercy. Without making excuses for our past behavior, we step into pure grace, unmerited favor. This is what spiritual directors help us do.
And we walk in grace. We can freely and calmly speak of our past transgressions because we know we are forgiven by the Creator. The prodigal son came home and lived like a beloved son, not like a slave. His father’s love was so great that, though of course he had regrets, he had no guilt, no sense of being “less than.”
St. Ignatius once determined that he would never confess the same sin twice. After all, it’s been cast into the deepest sea. Corrie ten Boom used to say, “…and then God puts up a ‘no fishing’ sign.”
Sink deeply into the warm water of grace.