11 REPENTANCE: A Call to Greatness - Dr Paul Mathulla

posted Mar 1, 2018, 7:25 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 1, 2018, 7:25 PM ]
What is repentance, and how is it associated with greatness?" are questions we shall ponder in this article. If there were the smallest business opportunity, the aspiring entrepreneur would immediately seize it—that's business sense. How about the far greater opportunity to draw close to God? Repentance is that golden opportunity, a spiritual exercise that emanates voluntarily, reaching the cavernous depths of our soul and cleansing us deeply.

Repentance, first and foremost, is an act of love, undertaken by a disciple conquered by the love of God. We have so great a saviour that we will stop at nothing, but complete reconciliation with Him. The poetic words of Saint Augustine come to mind, "Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness, I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you, they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath, and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace." Augustine realised that nothing could compare with the magnificence of God's love; if repentance was the way to get there, Augustine went the whole hog. What a conversion Saint Augustine had!

Second, repentance is meant to place us in the truth. We who are flying high and mighty need to be reminded of our reality before God. Repentance reveals the truth about us, and invites us to humility. It's God's mercy that tolerates our arrogance and foolishness, and gives us many chances to realise our truth. It lowers our belligerence and brings us to our senses.