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After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us toward is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven.
God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So to confess is to breathe in and to ask God to forgive me of my sins. And as we breathe out we breathe out the impure air and breathe in the pure air. I would say the pure air is knowing that God has forgiven us of our sins.
There are many options in a marriage. If the couple has been together for a certain amount of time and has a certain amount of liberalism or life experience, it could be the kind of relationship in which one partner ventures into the occasional affair, which is then forgiven. This only happens every 13 years on average, but it obviously does occur.
If a person has done wrong, is conscious of what he has done and does not say sorry, I ask God to take him into account. I forgive him, but he does not receive that forgiveness, he is closed to forgiveness. We must forgive, because we were all forgiven. It is another thing to receive that forgiveness.
What a mistake those who do not hope make! Judas made a huge blunder the day in which he sold Christ for 30 denarii, but he made an even bigger one when he thought that his sin was too great to be forgiven. No sin is too big: any wretchedness, however great, can always be enclosed in infinite mercy.
I resisted the temptation to turn around and stick out my tongue in derision at Beliquose. After all, there was no telling when or if we should meet again, and I certainly did not need him saying, ‘Ah yes, Poe, the fellow whose trespasses i could have forgiven in their entirety… except for the tongue thing. Yes, for that, you must surely die.’