Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Repentance

These days are identified with the need of repentance – regret, compunction, sorrow – due to offenses committed against God (three Commandments) and/or against man (seven Commandments). If people were born saints, act like angles, sin neither against God nor against man, then repentance would become irrelevant. The long standing fact, however, is that people worship wealth and/or dehumanize others practically from the time they became thinking beings, from the time they became rational individuals.

“I am sorry.” These are commonly said and heard words – on the occasion of little pains cause, little hurts done. They say a lot about the person who expresses them, as they also mean a lot to the person to whom they are said. The truth is that even such three simple words of repentance in the day to day lives of people, make a difference. “I am sorry.” The offender is apologetic and the offended is appeased. The offender bends down and the offended picks him/her up. The offence is erased and harmony is reestablished. “I am sorry.” This short and plain expression can heal many emotional wounds – and physical hurts even. Sorrow on the part of the offender is such an effective way of restoring relational harmony.

For more serious causes on account more grave offenses, repentance is expressed through different forms and in different ways – dying these days in particular. And in it is known fact that some Filipinos are very inventive in showing their repentance for their misdeeds. From putting pleasures aside to walking on their knees. From whipping themselves to carrying crosses. From wearing crowns to being crucified. Or though simple yet fervent prayers of worship and/or gratitude, petition and/or repentance.

By the way, those who dare think that they do not have to repent for anything at all, can be any the following: They do not need to repent whereas they are sinless (lie). They have no use for repentance whereas they are all-good and kind (false). They have nothing to repent for because of mental derangement (true). Thus comes the truth, the relevance and logic for the following prayer of repentance – for those in honest need thereof:

“God: Forgive me for what I have done and what I have failed to do.” The repentant ask God for forgiveness – not only for the bad things he/she said or did, but also for the good things he/she failed to do. Such is a realistic prayer of repentance whereas there are usually better deeds that someone failed to do than evil deeds the same has done. There are very much more works of love that people leave undone than works of evil they could have done.