Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Repentance Revisited

"There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." Lk 15:7

Repentance is simple enough, but always difficult and often painful. Repentance is not simply saying you are sorry to someone you offended or hurt. Neither is it just asking forgiveness. Repentance is turning towards God again and humbly asking for the help you need to change your life in a permanent way, and it always implies that you will do this a day at a time.

This last dimension of repentance is often the most stressful. Although we know that change takes time, there is a false hope in us that we can turn towards God once and for all and be done with it. This is never the case. As situations in our lives change, we encounter new struggles and not infrequently old patterns of resistance return, making it likely that old faults will return and discourage us.

That is why it is so important to incorporate daily spiritual practices that root us in the mercy and healing power of God and offer us a way to counter our tendency to slip into behaviors that hurt both us and those around us.

Today, turn towards toward God in joy and gratitude even if you don't like it.

What practices have helped you continue a Gospel life despite your faults?

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