Repentance

“Always do a metanoia (repentance) when you are wrong. Don’t delay, otherwise the evil one can spread his roots within you.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

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“Do not be ashamed to turn back and say boldly: I will arise and go to my Father. Arise and go!”

Saint Ephrem the Syrian

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“Repentance is the renewal of Baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is the reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the Soul into vigorous awareness.”

Saint John Climacus

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“There is more mercy in God than there are sins in us. Confess your sins at once, whatever they may be.”

Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk

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“Are you wounded? Despair not. Have you fallen? Get up and say bravely: now I have begun. Fall down before your Merciful Master and confess your sins. But before you say anything He will already know what you intend to say. Before you open your lips, He will see what is in your heart. You will not be able to say, “I have sinned” before you see Him stretch forth His hands to receive and embrace you. Approach with faith and He will cleanse you straightaway as He cleansed the leper, lift you from your bed as He lifted the paralytic, and raise you from the dead as He raised Lazarus.”

Saint Ephrem the Syrian

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“We must always remember that we are not condemned for the multitude of our evils, but because we do not want to repent.”

Saint Mark the Ascetic

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“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Saint John the Baptist

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“Be ashamed when you sin, don’t be ashamed when you repent. Sin is the wound, repentance is the medicine. Sin is followed by shame; repentance is followed by boldness. Satan has overturned this order and given boldness to sin and shame to repentance.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“Repentance will bring you humility. Humility will bring you the Grace of God. And God will uphold you in His Grace, and will give you whatever you need for your Salvation.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“Occasionally we should also make a general Confession, as different psychological wounds and various events leave us with psychical sicknesses. During Confession we shouldn’t limit ourselves only to the Confession of our sins but we should also include the various tempting thoughts such as fear, sadness, joy, and annoyance which are provoked in us by events such as earthquakes, deaths, marriages, lack of faith, and so on.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“The heart clears with tears and sighs. A sigh with pain of the Soul is equivalent to two buckets of tears…”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“The Lord calls to Him all sinners; He opens His arms wide, even to the worst among them. Gladly He takes them in His arms, if only they will come to Him.”

Saint Macarius of Optina

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“To what end do fasting and penitence lead? For what purpose is this trouble taken? They lead to the cleansing of the Soul from sins, to peace of heart, to union with God; they fill us with devotion and sonship, and give us boldness before God.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Repentance is a medicine which destroys sin. It is a Heavenly gift.”

Saint John Chrysostom

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“The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that He will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and, having stood up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Do not despair if you keep falling into your old sins. Many of them are strong because they have received the force of habit. Only with the passage of time and with fervour will they be conquered. Don’t let anything deprive you of hope.”

Saint Nektarios of Aegina

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“Confession is a way for man to come to God. It is the offering of the Love of God to man. Nothing and no one is able to deprive us of this Love.”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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“You must then wash away, by a life of virtue, the dirt which has clung to your heart like plaster, and then your Divine beauty will once again shine forth.”

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

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“Every genuine confession humbles the Soul. When it takes the form of thanksgiving, it teaches the Soul that it has been delivered by the Grace of God.”

Saint Maximos the Confessor

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“Repentance is the beginning, middle and end of the Christian way of life.”

Saint Gregory Palamas

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“To repent is not to look downwards at my own shortcomings, but upwards at God’s Love. It is not to look backwards with self-reproach but forward with trustfulness. It is to see not what I have failed to be, but what by the Grace of Christ I might yet become.”

Saint John Climacus

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“However many and however great and burdensome your sins may be, with God there is greater mercy. Just as His Majesty is, so likewise is His Mercy.”

Saint Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow

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“Repentance is the gate of mercy which is opened to all who seek it.”

Saint Isaac the Syrian

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“Do not think that a Spiritual Father feels aversion upon hearing the confession of sins. On the contrary, if there is real contrition, then he feels a special sense of mercy and love for his repenting spiritual child. That is certain.”

Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

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“As every sickness has its treatment, so every sin has repentance.”

Saint Seraphim of Sarov

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“Confession must be sincere, deep and full.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Every Prayer should begin with a confession before God. But this should not be a mere sentimental confession, relating our sins and then doing the same things all over again. This is not true awareness of our sinfulness. When we become truly conscious of our sins, this is shown by a certain degree of improvement in our Spiritual life.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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“Repentance is the abandoning of all false paths that have been trodden by men’s feet, and men’s thoughts and desires, and a return to the new path: Christ’s path. But how can a sinful man repent unless he, in his heart, meets with the Lord and knows his own shame? Before little Zacchaeus saw the Lord with his eyes, he met Him in his heart and was ashamed of all his ways.”

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich

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“The forgiveness of sins, is freedom from passions.”

Elder Arsenios the Cave-Dweller

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“When Praying in the evening, do not forget to confess in Prayer to the Holy Spirit with all sincerity and contrition, those sins into which you have fallen during the past day. A few moments of fervent repentance, and you will be cleansed by the Holy Spirit from every impurity; you will be whiter than snow, and tears, purifying the heart will flow from your eyes; you will be covered with the garment of Christ’s righteousness and united to Him, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Genuine and true repentance… is beneficial, for it bears remission of sins for the sinner and makes him the friend of God.”

Elder Philotheos Zervakos

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“You, sinner, who have fallen into the depths of evil, when you represent to yourself the multitude of your sins and fall into despair and hardness of heart, remember that the Heavenly Father sent His Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world for your Salvation from sins and from eternal condemnation for them. Turn then with faith to this Mediator before God for men, imploring Him from the depths of your Soul to wash away by His All-Cleansing Blood, shed for us on the Cross, your iniquities too; turn zealously to repentance, confessing your sins before His Priest as before Himself, that you may be justified, after which, if the minister of the Sacrament of penitence finds you prepared and fit, draw near to the Holy Cup and you shall be cleansed of your sins: peace shall flow into your Soul like a river and you shall be the son of the Heavenly Father, ‘who was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found’. (Lk 15:32).

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Repentance is admission of the way of sin. Repentance opens up a new way. The penitent’s eyes are open to two ways; to the way which he is going, and to the way he should be going… I tell you: the penitent must have two types of courage – he must have the courage to weep over his old way, and he must have the courage to prepare himself for a new way.”

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich

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“When the air is cleared of clouds, the sun shines brightly; and a Soul freed from its former habits and granted forgiveness has certainly seen the Divine Light.”

Saint John Climacus

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“The Lord, like a child-loving mother washing her child of all dirty, forgives us and graciously Sanctifies, as long as we repent sincerely.”

Saint Silouan the Athonite

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“Let us say something about the thorns. Blessed Mary of Egypt was twelve years old when she fell into the hands of the devil. She lived in sin day and night. But the Merciful God enlightened her and she abandoned the world and went into the desert. There she led a hermit’s life for forty years. She was cleansed and became like an Angel. God wished to give her rest, so He sent the Holy Ascetic Zosimas to hear her Confession and to give her Holy Communion. The He received her Holy Soul into Paradise, where she rejoices with the Angels. If there is anyone here like Blessed Mary, let him immediately weep and repent, now that he has time, and let him be assured that he will be saved as was Blessed Mary.”

Saint Kosmas Aitolos

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“Confession to a man is like an hours rest to a soldier at war, like a physician to one who has been injured in the daily battle. When you confess what is burdening you, you repel it and throw off the heavy burden, and you can continue more rested.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

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