Penance in the interregnum


Third week of Lent. Penance, meaning metanoia:

The term is regularly used in the Greek New Testament, especially in the Gospels and the preaching of the Apostles. Repentance is shown by faith, baptism, confession of sins, and producing fruits worthy of penance. It means a change of heart from sin to the practice of virtue. As conversion, it is fundamental to the teaching of Christ, was the first thing demanded by Peter on Pentecost, and is considered essential to the pursuit of Christian perfection. (Etym. Greek metanoein, to change one’s mind, repent, be converted, from meta- + noein, to perceive, thing, akin to Greek noos, nous, mind.)
From the  conciliar and post-conciliar documents:

55. Faith involves a change of life, a “metanoia”, (Cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi 10; Ad Gentes 13b; CCC 1430-1431) that is a profound transformation of mind and heart; it causes the believer to live that conversion. (Evangelii Nuntiandi 23) This transformation of life manifests itself at all levels of the Christian’s existence: in (one’s) interior life of adoration and acceptance of the divine will, in (one’s)action, participation in the mission of the Church, in (one’s) married and family life; in (one’s) professional life; in fulfilling economic and social responsibilities.



Faith and conversion arise from the “heart”, that is, they arise from the depth of the human person and they involve all that (person) is. By meeting Jesus Christ and by adhering to him the human being sees all of (the) deepest aspirations completely fulfilled. He (or she) finds what (they) had always been seeking and … finds it superabundantly. (Cf. Ad Gentes 13) Faith responds to that “waiting”, (Cf. Redemptoris Missio 45c) often unconscious and always limited in its knowledge of the truth about God, about (humankind) and about the destiny that awaits (us). It is like pure water (Cf. Redemptoris Missio 46d) which refreshes the journey of (humankind), wandering in search of (our) home. Faith is a gift from God. It can only be born in the intimacy of (the human) heart as a fruit of that “grace [which] moves and assists (us)”, (Dei Verbum 5; cf. CCC 153) and as a completely freeresponse to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who moves the heart and turns it toward God, and who “makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth”. (Dei Verbum 5; cf. CCC 153) The Blessed Virgin Mary lived these dimensions of faith in the most perfect way. The Church “venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith”. (CCC 149)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s