Feelings necessary?

March 3, 2006 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

On the invitation of one of my professors, I went to mass on Ash Wednesday earlier this week. (Nope, I’m not Catholic, and I didn’t participate. I just wanted to observe the imposition of ashes, which I had never heard of until this week.)

During the service, the priest said something I found intriguing. In talking about the season of Lent, which is supposed to be a time of soul-searching and repentance, he made the claim that “grief is required for forgiveness.�?

I looked up “grief” in Merriam Webster’s dictionary, and the word means “deep and poignant distress.” So if I am to accept this priest’s claim as true, then it means that I would have to have an intense feeling of sorrow before I could receive forgiveness from God.

If that’s actually the case, then I’m in deep weeds.


Because there are many times I honestly don’t feel grief over things I’ve done wrong. Based on prodding from my conscience, I realize I have committed a sin, and I choose to repent. But to put it bluntly, feelings of real grief are often missing—at least until much later.

Hence, my question: Are feelings necessary before we can be forgiven?


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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