What does repentance really look like?

So Lent has begun!

What is Lent all about? It’s about repentance. Repentance is not just saying to oneself “oh I feel sorry for that  bad stuff I did”, rather, it consists in four things:

1. Contrition- feeling sorry is but one aspect of repentance. It may be imperfect, where one is sorry for their sins because they dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, or it may be perfect, where one is sorry because they love God and abhor the idea of offending Him.

2. Confession- having the humility to confess one’s sins audibly to a priest acting in the person of Christ.

3. Penance– carrying out some prayers or deeds in reparation for the damage done to oneself and others, and the temporal punishment due to one’s sins.

4. Change of life- real repentance and turning to Christ should lead to a real change of life. Having recognised that it is wrong to be selfish, and offends God, whom we love above all things, confession and penance ought to lead us to renouncing selfishness, and striving to root it out of our daily lives. Obviously we will fall, but there should nevertheless be a real, noticeable, substantial change.

These things are difficult, but daily conversion is the call of all disciples of Christ.

I wish you all the best on your 2013 Lenten journey.

Coming tomorrow: my number 1 suggestion for a Lenten commitment!! 🙂

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