“My sheep never perish”
When a person sins, that friendship is at once broken, for sin means that the soul has deliberately turned its back upon God and is facing the other way, and thus it has been able, by some fatal power, to prevent God’s everlasting love from having any effect upon it. God cannot hate; but we can stop his love from touching us…
Grace…operates to restore all these lost wonders. Sin itself is forgiven; all the ingratitude and disloyalty are put on one side; not simply in the sense that God forgets them, or chooses not to consider them, but in the sense that they are completely wiped away. It is the parable of the Good Shepherd where the sheep is brought back again into the fold, and mixes freely with the others who have never left the presence of their Master. It is the parable of the prodigal son taken back into his father’s embrace.
That is what the forgiveness of sin implies. God is once more back again in the soul. He had always been there as the Creator without whose supporting hand the soul would be back in its nothingness; but he is now there again as Father and Master and Friend. Not only the saints who have been endowed with a genius for divine things, but every simple soul that has had its sins forgiven comes at once into that embrace. We are far too apt to look upon forgiveness as a merely negative thing, a removal, a cleansing, and not enough as a return to something great and good and beautiful, the triumphant entrance into our souls of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.