Making amends as part of real repentance allows us to wake up with a true sense of life, divine joy and freedom!
“Take words with you
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
and we will offer
the fruit[a] of our lips.”
“I will heal their disloyalty;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.” (Hosea 14:2; 14:4)
“Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Matthew 12:32-33)
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. Consider what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what vindication! In every way you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did wrong or the one who was harmed, but rather that your earnestness on our behalf would be made clear to you in the sight of God.…” ( 2 Corinthians 7: 11-12)
Lenten Prayer: Lord, God Almighty, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by your mighty power, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed, as to be always just in your sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Ora Pro Nobis.
Imagine waking up to a burden being lifted from your heart, a feeling of no regret about anything. The sense of real freedom, gratitude and joy is almost too much to contain. Our hearts are truly free in that moment to love and praise God, to love others and to enjoy life! We want others to feel the same so much so that we are driven to tell them what has happened to us. We have been healed! “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 5) This is what Zacchaeus feels when Christ comes to his house , he says: “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” Jesus responds with by saying: “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:1-10) Zacchaeus’ behavior, in sharp contrast to the rich young ruler, is willing to do whatever it takes to be spiritually free and live in the Light with Jesus.
Chesterton understood that real repentance must, like love, be sincere. It’s the other side of the real and lasting forgiveness which heals. Nothing is worse than a perfunctory apology and nothing is so unsatisfying as a forgiveness which does not restore what has been lost and heal what has been hurt. So much of our litigious society relies on compensation when what they really want is an acknowledgement of the wrong and to be healed of what was suffered. This is what God understands about us so well and offers to us through His love. In turn, He wants us to do the same for each other and spreading such healing like Light in all our dealings throughout the world.
“There is no better test of a man’s ultimate chivalry and integrity than how he behaves when he is wrong; and Johnson behaved very well. He understood (what so many faultlessly polite people do not understand) that a stiff apology is a second insult. He understood that the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Real Dr. Johnson, The Common Man, 1950