Orthodox America


  Open to Me the Door of Repentance, O Giver of Life!


Archbishop John Maximovitch

Repentance is expressed in Creek by the word metania.  In the literal sense, this means an alteration of one's mind, of one’s thinking. In other words, repentance is a transformation of one's orientation, of one's way of thinking, a transformation of a man within himself. Repentance is a re-examination of one's views, an alteration of one's life.

How can it come about? In the same way as when a dark room into which a man has happened to enter becomes illuminated by rays of sunlight. While he was looking at the room in the darkness, it presented itself to him in one aspect: much that was there he did not see, and he did not even imagine that it was there. Many things appeared to him not at all as they were in actual fact. He had to move cautiously, since he did not know where there might be obstacles. But now the room has become light: he sees everything clearly and moves freely. The same thing occurs in the spiritual life.

When we are immersed in sins and our mind is occupied only with worldly cares, we do not notice the state of our soul. We are indifferent as to how we are within, and go constantly by a false path, ourselves not noticing this.

But now a ray of Divine Light penetrates into our soul. How much filth shall we see then in. ourselves  How much injustice, how much falsehood! How hideous will many actions turn out to be which we fancied excellent. It will become clear to us that we are going by wrong paths. It becomes clear to us which path is right.

If we shall acknowledge then our spiritual nothingness, our sinfulness, and with our whole soul shall desire our correction-we shall be neat td salvation  From the depth of our soul let us call to the Lord: "Have mercy on me, O Lord according to Thy mercv!" "Forgive me and save me!" "Grant me to behold my sins and not to judge my brother”

At the beginning of the great Fast let us hasten to forgive each other all hurts and offenses.. Let us ever hear the words of the Gospel of Forgiveness. Sunday:

If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you? trespasses.

(Matt. 6:14-15)

 Archbishop John (Maximovitch)

 (Reprinted from The Orthodox Word, Jan.- Feb..1969)

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