Until our repentance becomes empowering it is debilitating.
“The only form of dejection we should cultivate is the sorrow which goes with repentance for sin and is accompanied by hope in God. It was of this form of dejection that the Apostle said: ‘Godly sorrow produces a saving repentance which is not to be repented of (2 Cor. 7:10). This ‘godly sorrow’ nourishes the soul through the hope engendered by repentance, and it is mingled with joy.” — St John Cassian, “On the Eight Vices On Dejection”
Too often the only form or repentance I’ve known with myself has been debilitating. Keeping my attention on what I’d done wrong rather than on the One welcoming me back from my escapades it has been days, weeks and even years before finally truly accepting His embrace. It has been dishearteningly infrequent that I’ve come home like the Prodigal Son, since I have begun seeing more of myself in his resentful brother.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit I am only beginning to see my fashions of repentance as being debilitating. Teach me to seat my repentance in the hope You offer and not in my fear of leaving what I’ve known behind.