Friday, March 23, 2012

On Repentence

Considering as it is Lent, we should consider the words of our Lord, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:12-25)

But what does this mean you ask? We should consider the Greek word Metanoia, which means a change of mind in a lasting sense, like a commitment. We should change our hearts and minds from seeking everything that is not God, to embracing, choosing the statutes, because they set us free. When you are able to not chose sin, you have gained freedom. This is the freedom the saints speak of. To be master of our base inclinations.
Because of the fall, we make all sorts of justifications for our pettiness, and inattentiveness to our hearts. We are bold enough to say to God, just wait for me until I'm doing x,y,z , then I will come to you. And by then, we have fallen into so many pitholes it must seem incredulous to the angels! But true boldness, as Chrysostom says, is admit one's fault, and turn away from it:

"Sin is the wound, repentance is the medicine. Sin is followed by shame; repentance is followed by boldness. Satan has overturned this order and given boldness to sin and shame to repentance." - St. John Chrysostom

Augustine calls us to remember, that we don't know the time the bridegroom will come. As such, we should always watchful over our hearts.

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” - St. Augustine of Hippo

And lastly, consider the advice of Saint Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain. Here he says that repentance softens the heart, and allows us to begin the work of  overcoming and fighting our passions:

"Know firstly that repentance, according to St. John of Damascus, is a returning from the devil to God, which comes about through pain and ascesis. So you also, my beloved, if you wish to repent properly, must depart from the evil one and from evil works and return to God and to the life proper to God. 

Just as hunters are not satisfied with merely finding a beast in the forest, but attempt through every means to also kill it, likewise, my brother sinner, you should not be satisfied with merely examining your conscience and with finding your sins--for this profits you little, but struggle by every means to kill your sins through the grief in your heart, namely, through contrition and affliction." - St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

May you all continue to have a fruitful and blessed Lent!

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