The Start of Repentance

Posted: July 17, 2012 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles, Memory Book

But some one may say,”It is so very difficult to serve God, it is so much against my own mind, such an effort, such a strain upon my , strength to bear Christ’s yoke, I must give it over, or I must delay it at least. Can nothing be taken instead? I acknowledge his law to be most holy and true and the accounts I read about good men are most delightful.  I wish I were like them with all my heart; and for a little while I feel in a mind to set about imitating them.  I must have begun several times, I have had seasons of repentance, and set rules to myself; but for some reason or other, I fell back after a while, and was even worse than before. I know, but I cannot do. “O wretched man that I am!”

Now to such a one I say, You are in a much more promising state than if you were contented with yourself, and thought that knowledge was every thing, which is the grievous blindness which I have hitherto been speaking of; you are in a better state, if you do not feel too much comfort or confidence in your confession.  For this is the fault of many men; they make such an acknowledgement as I have described a substitute for real repentance; or allow themselves, after making it, to put off repentance, as if they could be suffered to give a word of promise which did not become due (so to say) for many days.  You are, I admit, in a better state than if you were satisfied with yourself.

Blessed John Henry Newman


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