Unless one learns how to be sorry, he has not learned yet to love.
"This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a 'contrite heart', drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first (Ps 51:17; cf Jn 6:44; 12:32; I Jn 4:10)." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1428)
For one to have true contrition: (1) it is necessary to abhor and have sorrow for all the sins we have committed; (2) it should bring with it the desire to confess our sins and to make satisfaction for them; (3) one should have the firm and constant resolution of amendment. (cf Treatise on Penance, Catechism of the Council of Trent)
"O Jesus! If
in spite of the poor way I have behaved, you have done for me what you
have done, what would you do if I were to respond well?
This truth will lead you to be generous without measure.
"Weep and show with sorrow and love how much it pains you, for our Lord and his Blessed Mother deserve different treatment from you." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 388)
"...Domine, tu scis quia amo te!--Lord, you know that I love you! How very often, Jesus, I repeat again and again those words your dear Cephas uttered, as a bitter-sweet litany. For I know that I love you, and yet I am so very unsure of myself that I cannot bring myself to say it to you so clearly. There are so many denials in my wicked life. Tu scis, Domine!--You know that I love you. May my actions, Jesus, never go against these yearnings of my heart...." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 176)
"Ask the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and your Mother, to make you know yourself and weep for all those foul things that have passed through you, and which, alas, have left such dregs behind... And at the same time, without wishing to stop considering all that, say to him: Jesus, give me a love that will act like a purifying fire in which my miserable flesh, my miserable heart, my miserable soul, my miserable body may be consumed and cleansed of all earthly wretchedness. And when I have been emptied of myself, fill me with yourself. May I never become attached to anything here below. May love always sustain me." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 41)
"The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the eax collector in the parable: 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' (Lk 18:13) It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that 'we receive from him whatever we ask' (I Jn 3:22; cf 1:7 - 2:2). Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2631)
"If you don't hear the voice of the Lord even in those moments which exteriorly facilitate a spirit of recollection, if the first and last thoughts of your day are not for God, it's because you have to take off the shell, that callousness of your heart. And this is achieved in two ways: with mortification and with contrition. With love." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)
"Turn to our Lady and
ask her -- as a token of her love for you -- for the gift of contrition.
Ask that you may be sorry, with the sorrow of love, for all your sins and
for the sins of all men and women throughout the ages.
"And with that same disposition, be bold enough to add: 'Mother, my life, my hope, lead me by the hand. And if there is anything in me which is displeasing to my Father God grant that I may see it, so that, between the two of us, we may uproot it.'
"Do not be afraid to continue, saying to her: 'O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, pray for me, that by fulfilling the most lovable Will of your Son, I may be worthy to obtain and enjoy what our Lord Jesus has promised." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 161)
"Convert me and I will convert to you, because you are the Lord my God." (Jer 31:18) [Converte me et convertar, quia tu Dominus Deus meus.]
"Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord God; so turn and live." (Ezech 18:30-32)
"My very dear sons, when you get to my age you'll realize that our whole life we've been playing the role of the prodigal son: it seems that we get farther away from God, but it is not so. We always go back to him with more love." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)
"Wash yourselves clean, spare me the sight of your busy wickedness, of your wrong-doing take farewell. Learn, rather, how to do good, setting your hearts on justice, righting the wrong, protecting the orphan, giving the widow redress; then come back, says the Lord, and make trial of me." (Is 1:16-18)
"Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Apoc 3:19-21)
"Obviously the story of my life up to the day of my baptism is hardly an adequate story of my 'conversion'. My conversion is still going on. ...It is a lifetime effort, every minute, every day, every year!" (Paul K Sih, From Confucius to Christ, p 216)
"These, I [the Holy Spirit] said, are ever wayward hearts, these have never learned my lessons. And I took an oath in my anger, 'They shall never attain my rest.'" (Heb 3:10-11)
"The truly repentant
man exercises all the other virtues." (Dominic Prummer) [Homo vere poenitens
exercet omnes alias virtutes.]
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