"Do you not know that God's kindness is an invitation to you to repent?" —Romans 2:4
Jesus told the religious leaders of His time that they were "neglecting justice and the love of God" (Lk 11:42). Because of their sinful pride, they were spiritually dead. They were "like hidden tombs over which men walk unawares" (Lk 11:44). Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome that they had "hard and impenitent" hearts and were "storing up retribution for that day of wrath" (Rm 2:5).
Religious people usually have repented of their sins. Yet, this is only a beginning. We need to repent to a much greater depth. However, because we have already repented, we think we have finished repenting. Instead of our initial repentance being a catalyst leading to greater repentances, it becomes a vaccination. We use a little repentance to inoculate ourselves so that we never have deep repentance.
To keep our initial repentance from being used against us, we should:
- go to Confession at least monthly,
- ask the Sacred Heart of Jesus to reveal the thoughts and reflections of our hearts (Heb 4:12),
- silently look at a crucifix for at least one minute a day,
- use the Bible to examine our consciences daily, and
- ask for the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin (Jn 16:8).
Prayer: Father, baptize, that is, immerse me in repentance (Lk 3:3).
Promise: "He will repay every man for what he has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing right; wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness." —Rm 2:6-8
Praise: Steven meditated regularly on the cross of Jesus and began to understand love.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999