Any Sin Can Be Forgiven- By:Frederica Mathewes-Green

Absolution of sins

As the Canon [the canon of St. Andrew of Crete] approaches its conclusion, St. Andrew brings together all the Scriptures he has been contemplating in a symphony. It is hard to repent, because we find it hard to trust God to be merciful; because we shield ourselves from recognizing our own sinfulness; and because the murky realm of our sins is something we don’t even understand very well. But St. Andrew holds up as examples multitudes who have gone before us, in order to show us what heartfelt repentance looks like and how God responds to it.

Peter betrayed Christ; when servants of the high priest questioned him casually around the courtyard fire, he backed away in confusion, swearing by an oath and invoking a curse on himself, “I do not know the man!” (Matthew 26:72, 74).

Judas also betrayed Christ. When he realized that Jesus had been hauled off for execution, he was stricken. He went back to the temple and tried to return the money he’d received. He told the priests, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood’… And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:4-5).

Both apostles, who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him every day, who received the bread and wine from Jesus’ own hands at the Last Supper, betrayed Him mere hours later. But one of them repented. Peter “wept bitterly” and returned to Christ, and now is a pillar in the house of God. Judas was consumed with bitterness, self-reproaches, and misery, and cast himself into Hades. The kind of despair that causes a person to give up on God is a particular kind of deadly sin, often translated (misleadingly) “sloth”. It’s not laziness that’s the problem, but the conclusion that no matter what you do it will make no difference, so why try? Healthy repentance, on the other hand, ends in hope.

The lesson of Judas and St. Peter is that the nature of the sin does not matter. Any sin can be forgiven. The only thing preventing salvation is a person’s willingness to repent and come back to God in humility. Don’t be afraid to bring God your very “worst” sins; you probably don’t even know yet what your worst sin is. God knows, and already forgives; it is up to you to come for reconciliation.

Excerpt taken froom the book: First Fruits of Prayer, By: Frederica Mathewes-Green


4 Responses to “Any Sin Can Be Forgiven- By:Frederica Mathewes-Green”

  1. 1 matchoomo April 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Thank you for this encouraging post. I have copied it to my blog, hopefully you are fine with that. If not, please let me know 🙂

  2. 2 Mary April 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Matchoomo,

    I’m happy to know that this post was encouraging to you. I’m completely fine with sharing posts, however, if you can link where you got the posts, that would be great. 😀

    God Bless!

  3. 3 matchoomo April 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Thank you 🙂 i have added a link back.

  4. 4 Peccator April 25, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Where do you find all these beautiful oil paintings? What is the name of the artist(s)?

    Best wishes/

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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