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Sin Brings Joy to Jesus
Right now you’re likely thinking something along the lines of: Uh … what? What kind of craziness is this? Sin brings joy to Jesus? I think not!
On the surface, I agree. It does sound crazy to think that God finds joy in sin. Yet He does — if we use our sin as means of returning to Him.
Is it God’s desire for us to fall into the trap of sin and vice? Of course not. Original sin was a fall from grace, and a tragic one at that. But “O happy fault, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” as the Church prayer states.
This is because God always turns everything into good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
I will make all things well, I shall make all things well, I may make all things well, and I can make all things well; and you will see that yourself, that all thing will be well.
(Julian of Norwich)
Sin hurts Christ. It was on the cross that He redeemed us from sin — if we allow the gift of His redemption to seep into our souls. The Crucifixion is a visceral reminder of just how much our sin wounds every aspect of His divine beinghood.
Yet so, too, does sin cause Jesus joy. If we come to Him with our sins, we allow Him to be our Savior. There is nothing Jesus will refuse to forgive, nothing He cannot heal and redeem.
There is no sin that is greater than God’s merciful love.
Humble contrition fills Jesus’ pierced Heart with the greatest of joys.
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich understood, through a God-given vision, that all repented sins will be rewarded greatly in heaven.
Again, we should never desire to sin. However, when we do fall into that snare Jesus takes tremendous delight in forgiving us, healing us, and embracing us after we come back to Him. Shame for past sins shouldn’t take up space in our souls; we must trust in His Divine Mercy, and allow His healing graces to bring us to wholeness once again.
God also showed me that sin is no shame, but honour to man, for in heaven the tokens of sin are turned into honours … For when by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit contrition seizes the sinner, then the Spirit turns bitterness into hope of God’s mercy. And then the wounds begin to heal and the soul to revive, restored to the life of Holy Church … Though he be healed, his wounds are not seen by God as wounds but as honours. And as sin is punished here on earth with sorrow and penance, in contrary fashion it will be rewarded in heaven by the courteous love of our Lord God almighty, who does not wish anyone who comes there to lose his labours.
(Julian of Norwich)
When we sin, and when we repent and make our confession through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God not only forgives us, but cleanses us so completely that all sins are forgotten by Him.
Often shame and self-recrimination keep us bound in despair, destroying the path to self-forgiveness and blocking many of the graces God desires to bestow upon us. This can happen even after we’ve received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and have made the resolve to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
Toxic shame is to be rejected. It comes from the evil one, not from God. It’s the devil’s way of trying to keep us from reaping the full benefits of Jesus’ merciful embrace.
As difficult as it may be, we must forgive ourselves for any and all sins already forgiven by God, no matter how horrible they were. Repentance, sacramental reconciliation, making amends to all offended parties … When we truly act on our mistakes, God truly forgives. And so we, in turn, must forgive ourselves.
Not to forgive ourselves after God has graced us with His loving, merciful forgiveness shows a lack of trust in His redemption. If you’re stuck in the mode of self-recrimination, unable to forgive yourself for past sins, repeat this line every time toxic shame and self-accusation begin to creep into your mind.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Trust in His love, His forgiveness, His mercy. He takes delight in redeeming you.
Jesus’ joy is not in sin itself, but in the lost sheep who comes back to Him, asking for His love and protection. Accept His sacrificial redemption on the Holy Cross and resolve to go forward in His love, pleasing Him in all things.
Rejoice! You have been forgiven.
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