SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #225
" Wherefore, I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less." And he said to her: "Thy sins are forgiven thee." (Luke 7:47-48)
LOVE AND THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN: Many sins were forgiven to this woman, because she loved much (for perfect contrition proceeds from perfect love); and after she received forgiveness of her sins, she loved in proportion to the amount of forgiveness she had received. How could it be otherwise? If anyone wishes to receive pardon of God for the sins which he has committed, the first thing he must do is, by the help of God, to conceive a hatred of his sins, and he must make, at least, an attempt to return to God, or, in other words, to love God. But it is only when a sinner's heart turns with perfect love to God, that He will impart to him the grace of justification and sanctification. This grace of justification enables man to love God still more. Thus love is, at the same time, the cause and the effect of the forgiveness of sins.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)