“My sin is ever before me”

by Scott D. Hendricks

We must always have these sins before our eyes, so we may be purified from them. And though God, by clemency, forgives you the sin, yet you, for the safety of your soul, must always have the sin before your eyes. For the memory of past sins hinders future ones; and he who is bitten by his past sins demonstrates the will to be steadfast about the next ones. For David says: “And my sin is ever before me” in order to have the past ones before his eyes and not to fall into future ones. That God demands this firm stance from us, listen to Him say: “‘I am the one who blots out your sins, and I will not remember them; you, however, remember them, and we shall settle accounts,’ says the Lord. First state your sin so you may be justified.”

~ St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom, On Repentance and Almsgiving, translated by Gus George Christo (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1998), 95.