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A psalm of thanksgiving, rejoicing for the God who forgives sin once we quit playing around and denying we sin. Everything is restored in our relationship to God as soon as we get out of the trap of denial. I remember a priest saying some years ago that he had no problem with people who came to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and said they had no sins to confess. He used to say to them "Okay that will do for now. You've definitely told a lie and that is a
sin to confess!"All we have to do is come clean with God.
Long before Freud, the writer of Psalm 32 knew about the reality of guilt. In fact he saw more deeply than Sigmund the contours of the human heart, and the reality of sin which for him was a real and present danger. Sin for this psalmist is an objective fact that not only affects our relationship to God, but has a very negative effect on the human person, with real psychological and physical manifestations; loss of sleep, worry, anxiety, restlessness etc. He has insight into the vicousness of sin and its denial in robbing the human heart and human relationships of joy and peace.
This is perfect psalm for our Lenten journey, learning the joy of being forgiven and being restored by our loving, merciful God. The God who not only is compassionate, but a real source of strength in trials and difficulties, including the sins that cling so easily. Neither is this mercy a one off event, as Paul of the Cross says, "Our sins are a drop in the ocean of God's love."
Fr. Tom Scanlon, CP