Dear Dan, I am Catholic. I committed grave sins when I was a teen that I have lived in guilt and anxiety over for almost two decades. I pray every day about them. I have prayed in church but I have never been to confession. I am afraid to go to confession because I am scared I will not be forgiven or kicked out of the “church”. I want to go to Heaven. I love God and Jesus. Are there any sins that are not forgivable? Can you be kicked out of the church?
Dear Friend, you have asked one of the most important questions that can be asked, and the good news is that it is very easy to answer.
The Church never refuses forgiveness for those who truly seek it.
If you had committed the unforgivable sin, you would not be concerned about God. Because you are concerned, this is evidence that He is drawing you to Himself. Whether it be abortion, or whatever it is, once grave sin is absolved in confession, we can begin to find peace because we are restored to relationship with the One we desire and love. Without confession, we remain cut off from the grace we desire, and need, in order to live in a love relationship with God.
The apostle Paul participated in the murder of St. Steven. The apostle Peter denied Jesus three times. Both were restored to relationship with God by His grace.
Regardless of whatever you have done, though your sins may have been grave, they are as a grain of sand on a beach compared to the ocean of God’s mercy.
It is no difficulty or challenge for God to forgive you.
That said, He has provided you with a specific path to restore your relationship with Him. He has paid the price for your sin but you must appropriate this great gift by responding and walking through the door He has unlocked for you by His suffering and sacrifice.
Walk through the door into confession and you will enter the path of restoration – you will begin the journey toward peace and union with the One who created you for an eternal relationship of love with Him.
Yours in Christ,
Art: The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt, ca 1668, CC-PD-Mark; Divine Mercy, Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, 1934 [Painting in Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Vilnius], PD-US copyright expired; both Wikimedia Commons.