Forgiveness and Guilt

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Allow Yourself to Be Forgiven:
Penance Today
By
Karl Rahner, S.J.

In this booklet Karl Rahner writes about the mystery of guilt that human being cannot avoid once he or she committed sin against God. The acceptance of hopelessness of guilt and desire to transcend is the beginning of conversion. God gives to us a free gift of forgiveness which is the most incomprehensible miracle of the love of God. To understand better I will quote some important points of each chapter of this booklet.

In the first chapter Karl Rahner presents that if we make a brief and meaningful observations of the Sacrament of Penance we must deal immediately with the profoundly obscure sphere of human’s life: the guilt. It is where the mystery of complete and enduring incomprehensibility exists: God. The mystery of guilt obtain its final meaning when human turn to God in a true conversion.

In the second chapter, he explains that guilt before God is not just a collection of minor infractions and transgressions of law that we might commit against human norms and authority. One which even in the commission of the guilty deed was motivated by a search for the Good in general and which also subject to the variety of circumstances and conditions of human in all dimensions of life.

In the third chapter he presents the real guilt before God is incomprehensible mystery. In a modern world there are many sciences that discovered thousands and thousands of things that condition human and it is difficult to consider whether the guilt before God really exists. We don’t have absolute certitude. As Christian we can say that the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ have their cause in real guilt. However, we do not know with absolute certainty that any particular individual in a state of final depravity and perdition are not saved by the mercy of the cross of Jesus. We cannot localize guilt, the “sin of the world” which plunged Jesus into death.

In the fourth chapter he writes about the...
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