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What the forgiveness of sin implies


When a person sins, their friendship with God is at once broken.


When a person sins, that friendship is at once broken, for sin means that the soul has deliberately turned its back upon God and is facing the other way, and thus it has been able, by some fatal power, to prevent God's everlasting love from having any effect upon it.  God cannot hate; but we can stop his love from touching us ....

Grace ... operates to restore all these lost wonders.  Sin itself is forgiven; all the ingratitude and disloyalty are put on one side; not simply in the sense that God forgets them, or chooses not to consider them, but in the sense that they are completely wiped away.  It is the parable of the Good Shepherd where the sheep is brought back again into the fold, and mixes freely with the others who have never left the presence of their Master.  It is the parable of the prodigal son taken back into his father's embrace.

That is what the forgiveness of sin implies.  God is once more back again in the soul.  He had always been there as the Creator without whose supporting hand the soul would be back in its nothingness;  but he is now there again as Father and Master and Friend.  Not only the saints who have been endowed with a genius for divine things, but every simple soul that has had its sins forgiven comes at once into that embrace.  We are far too apt to look upon forgiveness as a merely negative thing, a removal, a cleaning, and not enough as a return to something great and good and beautiful, the triumphant entrance into our souls of the Father, the Son and the Spirit.



Father Bede Jarrett, O.P. "What the forgiveness of sin implies." from He Dwells in your Soul: Meditations on the Living God Within You (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 1989).

Note: He Dwells in your Soul: Meditations on the Living God Within You is out of print.


The Author

Father Bede Jarrett, O.P. (1881-1934) was Cyril Jarrett, who received the name Bede when, at age 17, he entered the Dominican order in England. The Dominicans sent him to study at Oxford and at Louvain, where he received his degree in theology. Ordained in 1904, Fr. Jarrett was stationed at St. Dominic's Priory in London. At 33, he was named Prior there and, just two years later, was elected Provincial — an office he held the rest of his life. While serving as Provincial, Fr. Jarrett wrote numerous scholarly books, as well as a lively, popular biography of St. Dominic.

Fr. Jarrett's demanding schedule of preaching and lecture engagements in England and abroad soon brought him to the attention of Catholics in the pew. He inspired them with his profound grasp of human nature and his eloquent explanations of the wise and loving ways of God. That same eloquence and Catholic understanding permeates the meditations he penned for this book.

In his own life time he held a recognised position as the greatest preacher in Catholic England. The Times of London noted in his obituary that "he has been called the best Roman Catholic preacher in this country, and he was perhaps the most popular English preacher in the United States, his sermons being marked by their intellectual quality, their appositeness to the times and their incisiveness". He is the author of Classic Catholic Meditations, Life of St. Dominic, The abiding presence of the Holy Ghost in the soul, and Mediaeval Socialism.

Copyright © Father Bede Jarrett, O.P.
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