16th September. Saints Cornelius and Cyprian

These two were friends and lived in the 3rd century, Cornelius in Rome where he became Pope and Cyprian in Carthage as bishop. They battled with a new heresy that claimed, if you had sacrificed to idols after becoming a Christian then you were beyond the Pale and could not be received back into the Church. Cornelius and Cyprian argued that there was always forgiveness to be had through the incredible mercy and love of God. Fortunately their approach won, though Christianity has often suffered from communities that preferred to reject rather than heal people. No one is beyond forgiveness. Some people suffer from the belief that they have done something for which they can never be forgiven which tortures them. But God will always forgive us because of the depth of his love. Even in Confession people struggle sometimes to believe they are forgiven and repeat the same sins as if repeated mentioning will make it more definite. We have to trust in the mercy and love of God. God never intends that anyone’s life should be blighted through a lack of forgiveness. In that state we can hardly spread his Good News.

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