Wherein I "rip-off" another writer on the web. Not taking credit, just sharing good stuff. Today's choice is Fr. C. J. McCloskey on why God only forgives with our repentance:
The answer simply is that we owe God everything, including our life and redemption and the possibility of eternal life in heaven. On the other hand, we will be given mercy to the extent we extend it to others, even if they do not reciprocate in asking our forgiveness.
Remember, of course, that all of salvation history from the fall of our first parents is the story of God’s mercy. As St. Paul says in one of his epistles, “God is rich in mercy.” Bl. John Paul wrote one of his first encyclicals, Rich in Mercy, on this topic.
In my old office at the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington, DC, I prominently placed a large framed photo of the pope’s meeting with the man who had attempted to assassinate him. (I checked recently and the photo is still there!) Of course, we do not know whether his attacker asked for pardon when he met the pope, but we are certain that Bl. John Paul forgave him in any case.