"In addition to the grace of baptism and to the most precious gift of martyrdom, there are many fruits of repentance by which the expiation of sins is achieved...The burden of sin may be lifted by a loving disposition, for 'love covers a multitude of sins.' (1Pet.4:8). In similar fashion healing is furnished our wounds through the fruit of almsgiving, because 'just as water extinguishes a fire, so almsgiving extinguishes sin.' (Sir 3:30), Likewise, too, forgiveness of sins is obtained by the shedding of tears, for 'every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.' (Psalm 6:6).
"If because of some weakness of the flesh you cannot wipe away your sins by fasting...then redeem them with almsgiving. If you do not have anything to bestow on the poor...certainly you can be cleansed by correcting your behavior. But if you cannot acquire perfection of virtue...exercise a kindly concern for helping others to salvation. If you bemoan your inadequacy for this ministry...cover your sins by a loving disposition. If in this too some frailty of mind has weakened you, beg for healing through the prayers and intercession of holy persons....Forgiveness is also bestowed through the confession of sins....But if you blush to reveal such things to others...you should not cease to confess them in constant supplication to the One from whom they cannot be concealed.
"You see, then, how many opportunities for mercy the clemency of the Savior has disclosed, so that no one who desires salvation should be broken by despair, when he sees so many life-giving remedies at his disposal." (John Cassian (d.circa 430), The Conferences, "Twentieth Conference: On Repentance and Reparation," trans. by Boniface Ramsey, OP)