Monday, May 8, 2017


From Vultus Christi:
Repentance is not something that we produce in ourselves. It is not an emotion that we wring out ourselves by morbid introspection. Certain discourses about “exciting” oneself to sentiments of contrition would almost suggest that it has to do with a manipulation of one’s emotions. Repentance — compunction — begins not with us, but with God. A man repents when the Word of God, “more piercing than any two edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), strikes the heart and pierces it through, leaving a great gaping wound that becomes a port of entry for divine grace. It has always been thus.
So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it. (Isaias 55:11).
This speeding Word, shot like an arrow from God to man, is the very Word that in the second chapter of the book of Acts struck and pierced the hearts of those who listened to Peter:
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? (Acts 2:37)
This is the Word that struck and pierced the heart of the young Antony in Egypt in about the year 270. Saint Athanasius recounts, in his Life of Antony, that no sooner had Antony heard the liturgical proclamation of the Gospel than he went out of the church to put into practice what he had heard. The man wounded by the Word of God is compelled to cry out, even if it is with much groaning, “I cannot remain as I am. Things cannot remain as they are. Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” (Read more.)

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