Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent is a Work of Love: Forgiveness and Repentance

Forgiveness and repentance: this is the joyful work of our Lenten journey.  Just before the Lenten Season The Collect for Quinquagesima reminds us of "the most excellent gift of charity (love):

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our
doings without charity are nothing worth:
Send thy Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond
of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever
liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant
this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

We must never lose this 'goal set before us,' this goal of love, during the Lenten call to repentance and forgiveness.  

And it is WORK!!

Only by confronting our bitterness and resentment, and finding forgiveness for those who have hurt us, can we be free from the rage that binds us in despair. Repentance is not about beating ourselves up for our errors and feeling guilty; that is a sin in and of itself! Guilt keeps us entombed in self-pity. All sin is some form of self-centeredness, selfishness. Repentance is the transformation of our minds and hearts as we turn away from our sin, and turn to God, and to one another. Repentance means to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean to justify someone’s sin against us. When we resent and hold a grudge, we objectify the person who hurt us according to their action, and erect a barrier between us and them. And, we continue to beat ourselves up with their sin. To forgive means to overcome that barrier, and see that there is a person who, just like us, is hurt and broken, and to overlook the sin and embrace him or her in love. When we live in a state of repentance and reconciliation, we live in a communion of love, and overcome all the barriers that prevented us from fulfilling our own personhood.    Metropolitan Jonah of Washington

I suppose that one might say Forgiveness and Repentance is love for it is directed towards the Lord and neighbour.  Our love without it, is worth little if even nothing.

Have a great work day! and have a blessed love directed Lent,

Pray for me, Lord have mercy,  Brian

Thanks to Salt of the Earth for the quote.

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