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The secret of forgiveness is not what we do but what God has already done.
When we have done something wrong, we can sense bad spirits all around.
Remember the case of BEN JOHNSON, who won the 100 meters in the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. Knowing that he was going to show positive in the drug control tests, it took more than two and a half hours for him to urinate for the sample, and he needed to drink several bottles of beer and other liquids.
God has put a conscience in all the people of the world showing them what is good and what is evil. Nobody can escape being aware of what our conscience says to us. Sometimes, with the passing of time, we silence it, distort it or deceive it, but our conscience is always there.
It is one of the voices of God, one of the many ways in which God is speaking to each person. And a "bad conscience" has a very distinctive fear: the fear of being discovered, of being found out.
Few people can do something they know is wrong and rest peacefully. Fear is always there; the guilt always continues to be present. In those moments one realises what it means to have peace, the peace of knowing you are forgiven, but these are exactly the things that are lost when we do something wrong.
And our actions always remain in our memory. It is then that we try to buy God off. And we base our bargaining on "penances," those good things we do to try to show God that we are sorry for what we have done.
And no matter what we do, that is no use for anything. We do great harm by hiding our sin. We have to give account to God, who doesn't accept our excuses. The secret of forgiveness is not what we do but what God has already done.
Can any of us can rest calmly knowing that we are at fault before God and others? A hidden sin can never be left without punishment. There is only one possibility of restoration: coming before God, and relying exclusively on what he did for us through Jesus.
He wants to forgive you, but not on your conditions, with your works, with your regrets or your penances. He forgives for love, for love of you.
Don't continue hiding your sin, don't continue living with the fear of being discovered. Unburden yourself before God.