Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Five Paths of Repentance

My take on Saint John Chrysostom's homily on his Five Paths of Repentance.

All these paths lead to heaven:

(1)  Know that you have sinned.  If you aren't going to Confession because you can't think of any sins you have committed--that's your first sin!  You have dulled your conscience!  You are living in a world of excuses.  Find an adult examination of conscience for your state in life, and go through it slowly.  Here's a pretty thorough examen, http://www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/examconc.asp

(2) Forgive.  Forgive yourself for whatever you keep berating yourself for.  Forgive your parents for their sins.  Forgive your friends for their slights.  Forgive your neighbors because they're clueless.  Forgive your enemies - they're ignorant.  Yes, forgive everyone; you want them to forgive you, don't you?  The world will look better if you do this.

(3)  Pray.  Get in the habit of conversing with God, all day.  Greet Him in the morning.  Thank Him at meal times--snacks, too.  Pray for people you encounter.  Pray in difficult situations.  Praise Him for the beauty you see.  End your day with an examination of conscience and thank Him, praise Him, and love Him.

(4)  Be generous.  Buy girl scout cookies, the Knights of Columbus raffles, the Right to Life roses, etc..  Take home your parish's Vocation Cross and pray.  Give of your own time, besides money.  Giving, adds to your own spiritual bank account.

(5)  Be humble.  There's always someone smarter than you, prettier, richer, luckier, funnier, etc..  Everything you have is only temporary.  The bigger you are, the harder you will fall.  God knows who you really are, who are you trying to impress?

"When you are spiritually strong, then you may approach the divine table with confidence.  Glorify Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord."  (Hom. De diabolo tentatore 2, 6: PG 49, 263-264)


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