Penance in the Church
You remember well the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector from the Gospel of St.. Luke (Luke 18, 9-14). The tax collector recognizes his sinfulness. He recognizes the need for repentance and conversion. The Pharisee sees nothing wrong with himself. He is filled with false complacency.
Antoni Gołubiew refers to this parable in ,,Letters to a Friend ". He gives an imaginary prayer of the twentieth century Pharisee : ,,I am not as you, who don't know your science, I'm not like that customs officer, who boldly enters your Church despite numerous and heinous sins… I am fair, and it is right to look at those from above ".
Perhaps you too are experiencing false complacency ? How do you take comments, that your parents and educators will refer to you ? Maybe you find them unfounded ?
How do you relate to people with different beliefs ? Don't you stack up with them, enjoying, that you are not like them. Here, too, you may be in danger of false complacency.
How do you think ? Could such false complacency be a Christian attitude ?
The Church always needs to be cleansed of sins (by. KK 8)
On the third Sunday of Lent (year C) you will hear the following call of Christ in the church :
,,At the same time some came and reported to him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate mixed with the blood of their victims. Jesus answered them : «Do you think?, that these Galileans were greater sinners than the rest of Galilee, that they suffered ? Not at all, I tell you ; but if you do not convert, you will all die alike. Or you think, that the eighteen, where the tower of Siloe collapsed and killed them, they were greater culprits than the rest of Jerusalem ? Not at all, I tell you ; but if you do not convert, you will all perish alike ».
And he told them the following parable : A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard ; he came looking for fruit on it, but not found. So he said to the gardener : «Well, three years already, ever since I come looking for fruit on this fig tree, but I do not find it. Cut them out : why still the soil barren ? »But he answered him : «Lord, leave them for this year ; I'll dig them up and fertilize them, maybe it will bear fruit. What if not, in the future you can cut them out »" (Luke 13, 1-9).
He shows Christ the Lord against the background of two tragic events, that all members of the chosen people are guilty to God. God's judgment awaits everyone. And from them, as from the chosen people, God expects good fruit. That is why she calls everyone to conversion.
When we read these words of Christ today in our Lent, The Church calls us all to conversion.
We read in the Constitution on the Church, that the Church is holy, because Christ is holy, the Head of the Church. Christians have been "sanctified in Jesus Christ" (1 Disease 1, 2). They are to reveal the mystery of Christ faithfully in the world. Meanwhile, this mission of the Church is weakened by Christians, who oppose their vocation. ,,A Church that embraces sinners, holy and at the same time in constant need of purification, he constantly repents and renews his " (KK 8). That is why we constantly hear in the Church exhortations to conversion and repentance.
Various forms of a call to conversion in the Church
In Advent, the Church reminds us of the Lord's second coming. He wants to transform all his members and prepare them for the final encounter with Christ.
The whole period of Lent is imbued with the spirit of repentance. He prepares us for the Passion celebration, our Lord's death and resurrection. A special form of preparation for conversion is the Lenten retreat. They can also take place at other times of the liturgical year. ,,The Way of the Cross "and" Bitter sorrows "are also calls to repentance. Penance services, in which the reading of the word of God plays the main role, arranged throughout the year, they are also a call to conversion.
At each Eucharistic Assembly, we also hear a call to conversion. At the very beginning of the Mass,. the priest addresses the assembled : “Let us apologize to God for our sins, that we may worthily celebrate the Holy Sacrifice ".
Repentance in my life
Life in the spirit of Christ
With whom you should compare your life and behavior, to avoid false complacency ? Is it with weak and failing people?, among whom they may be worse than us ? No !
A Christian judges all his conduct in the light of Christ's Gospel. He sees best in this light, what to do, how to proceed. Each of us should put on a new man, following the example of Christ, made in God's image in righteousness and true holiness (Ef 4, 24). It is to become similar to the image of the Son, who is the firstborn among many brethren (Rz 8, 29 ; Col. 1, 18). We Christians are to be "followers of God as beloved children and to walk in the way of love" (Ef 5, 1-2), how Christ live by his spirit, "That the life of Jesus may be revealed in our flesh" (2 Disease 4, 10). True repentance is not only repentance for the sins committed, but a detachment from the current - unholy way of life.
Perhaps you are not committing mortal sins, but through his daily sins that hurt, that is, everyday, you weaken the holiness of the Church and hurt God's life within you. So you also need to be cleansed of sins, i.e.. conversion.
Turn away from evil
By comparing his life with the teachings of the Gospel, the Christian sees his shortcomings. Only then does he realize, that he is doing wrong. He acknowledges his sin. I am aware of the evil, whom he committed against God and by which he "wounded" the Church of Christ.
Influenced by the action of the Holy Spirit, repentant disgust and hatred of sin arise in the repentant, and at the same time the desire to return to God. Readiness arises in it, to stand before God and confess to Him with regret, like the prodigal son : father, I have sinned against you and against your church. The repentant sinner does not deny anything, but he regrets all the bad deeds, thoughts, words, which were not in accordance with God's will. I regret it, that he has neglected to do good, which he could do. How, that true conversion consists in turning from all sins, to break up with any opportunity for evil and to make an effort, which would lead to the true transformation of the whole person.
Along with regret, it is connected with the repentant will to right the wrong done to God, my neighbor and myself. The convert wants to die with all his heart to sin, to live from now on according to the Gospel and to do the will of Christ.
How will I answer God ?
Christ, so does the owner of the fig tree, He expects good fruit from me - good deeds. Is there no false self-satisfaction in me? ?
How I accept the call to conversion, which God is constantly addressing to me in the Church ?
How often do I evaluate my conduct in the light of the Gospel ? How much effort do I put in, to fix evil, of which there is still so much in my life ?
Do I honestly admit what I am doing and genuinely regret what I am doing, which I have committed ?
I will ask God, that, through the prayer of the Church, he might awaken in me a constant spirit, true and inner repentance :
"Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness,
with the greatness of your mercy, blot out my iniquity.
Wash me completely of my fault
i oczyść mnie z grzechu mojego.
For they recognize my iniquity, and my sin is always before me. Only against you have I sinned
i uczyniłem, what's wrong in front of you. […] Here is your delight in hidden truth, teach me the secrets of wisdom.
Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will become clean, wash me, and I will make white to the snow "
(Ps 50, 3-9).
1. O czym poucza nas Bóg w czytaniu z Ewangelii Łukasza (Luke 13, 1-9) ?
2. Dlaczego ciągle słyszymy w Kościele nawoływanie do pokuty i nawrócenia ?
3. Jakie znasz formy wezwania do nawrócenia w Kościele ?
4. W jakim świetle powinieneś oceniać swoje postępowanie, to avoid false complacency ?
5. Na czym polega prawdziwe nawrócenie ? m Remember:
62. „Kościół obejmujący w swoim łonie grzeszników, holy and at the same time in constant need of purification, he constantly repents and renews his " (KK 8).
63. Czym jest pokuta chrześcijańska ? True Christian penance is the inner transformation of man, who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, turns away from sin, and addresses a life in love with God and with the community of saints in the Church.
■ Task :
1. Explain, what is false complacency.
2. Wymień znanych ci z Ewangelii ludzi, who converted and explain, why they converted.