Imagine what it must feel like to be a lifelong infidel.
Shame is covered over a thousand times in activities aimed at creating an outward appearance of integrity and acceptability. This is understandable in that the infidel, once found out, is always an infidel in the minds of most people, no matter how sincere his, or her, conversion is.
Case in point: there was a priest accused of pedophilia, exonerated in court, yet ostracized in public situations where children were.
So, aside from such extreme cases as those involving pedophilia, or felonious activity, you can see that the actual infidel of, let's say, pornography viewership, marital infidelity, homosexual activity, drug or alcohol abuse, skirmishes involving anger management, misdemeanor criminal activity, or just acting like a fool in public, is looking at a future where all endeavors aiming at social acceptability are an uphill battle.
But this is where God enters into the picture.
"Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”
A thousand apologies will sometimes only get you shot instead of hung.
Yet, in a millisecond, in the Catholic sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance/ confession, God comes near; so near as to wipe our sins away, forever! And not only that, God's Love has no memory. Furthermore, God graces the penitent with sanctifying grace in the Life of the Most Holy Trinity, grace which emboldens this beloved child to sin no more--though we still sin, God's graces does change us for the better.
For the infidel is a child of God, beloved of God since his, or her, birth. Aside from the fact that everyone is an infidel in one way or another, one degree or another, the infidel is a lost and confused child of this misguided world. Sin is the infidel's embrace of lies as truth, lust as love, in idolizing sex and power and pleasure, or their own personal efforts.
Yet, every infidel knows, the world is cold and cruel, and will leave them an orphan.
"I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon."
I have never met a man or a woman who can inspire me, let alone transform me, in their human graces. Sure, there are holy men and women of integrity who are shining examples in this dark world. But you gotta be kidding if you think there is any other Savior than Jesus.
Even if it pisses you off, and it shouldn't, but it may--since you are human--nothing is impossible for God...even in reclaiming the wreckage of the life of an infidel. You may hate him, or her, because you think they aren't as 'good' as you are, but as right as you are in one sense, you are so very wrong in your lack of faith in God's power to save, even a wretch, in Jesus Christ.
"Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
'I am like a verdant cypress tree'–
Because of me you bear fruit!"
So, my dear brother and sister, elder brother and sister to the prodigal child, maybe, just maybe, your example in holiness is evenly matched in your prodigal infidel's example in humble repentance.
Dear fellow infidel, no sin is greater than Jesus' Love. So run to the Prodigal Father, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and repent of your sins in the sacrament of confession; then nourish yourself on the Body and Blood of Jesus.
But, at least always remember this:
"Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them." Hosea 14:2-10