Saturday, November 5, 2016

Transformation In Christ: Contrition

This is to continue from Von Hildebrand (VH) from "Transform into Christ" book on chapter two called "Contrition"

This chapter goes over in details what being contrite is with God and how we can be truly sorry for our sins.

"Confrontation of our own selves with God renders us conscious of our unworthiness and sinfulness.  Without this basic revocation of our offenses against God there can be no genuine surrender to Him. "  What VH is pointing out is we need to know that we are sinful.

Bad conscience is not the same as continue

"There exists a kind of bad conscience without being really penitent.  He is aware of acting badly and awareness disturbs his peace and deprives him of inner harmony." This is to point out we could have weak conscience  and want no conflict, like an ostrich putting his head in the sand.

Contrition requires a repudiation of our past sins

"True penitence means a definite revulsion from ones sins.  It means a disavowed of the past, a relinquishment of one's former position with its implications of sinning. Contrition implies that we not only deplore the sin we have committed but condemn it expressly, denouncing as it were. " VH points out we need to be truly ashamed of what we did was wrong when we sin.

Contrition involves our surrender to God's mercy

"Christian penitence, there is always present a positive relation to God , grafted on the negation of sin. Confiding in God's mercy which will open to us the path of reconciliation.
True penitence makes appeal to God's mercy, and solitcits from Him forgiveness of sin. Penitence by itself is unable to abolish the guilt." It states here even though we recognize we offended God this doesn't conclude we are automatically forgiven by default.

Christians contrition yearns for reconciliation with God

"While the hope of reconciliation with God and His for forgiveness of our guilt is not, properly speaking, an element of contrition. True penitence also implies a longing, for reconciliation with God, and a desire to  walk once more in the paths. Nor is man able to obtain reconciliation by his own force it can be achieved by God alone." We all seek for forgiveness of our sins , but we need to search how to be forgiven and once again we are not forgiven by default.

Contrition also renounces future sins

"Never less, penitence implies more than condemnation sins committed and the gesture of their renunciation.
The renunciation of sin even for regard to the future. Being blind to the necessity excepting for responsibility of their past misdeeds and claiming as it were a prescription  in regard to moral wrongs  they have not contained to a conscious with a relationship with of moral values not grasped of inexorable demand with emanates from the world."  We need to be accountable for our sins, period.

Contrition contributed to a change of heart

"Yet, while penitence in such as incapable of actually securing absolution from sin, it does posses (as it does) an objective efficacy on inward change, which is specific to it which has to substitute. Subjectively, however concerning the penitents own, state of conscious, that is to say he must be dominated by the feeling that without the abolition of his guilt even his change of heart as such would lack reality, and that all his desire for becoming another man would remain ineffectual unless his guilt be taken away first by the blood of Christ."  This states that because we are sorry for our sin and look for forgiveness, that in some way looking to change but need to follow through with it and recognize that it's through Jesus dying on the cross gives us the ability to reconciled.

Contrition involves the yearning for sanctification

"True penitence involves, furthermore, a burning desire not only for forgiveness of the guilt of sin but for purification and sanctification,as well as the belief in their accomplishment by the grace of God.  The prayer for pardon and for purification, and the resolve never again to separate ourselves from God in the future proceed therefrom. There also exists a passive forms of penitence which includes hope for God's mercy and pardon, but not for purification and sanctification. In his false humility, this kind of penitent considers himself so hopelessly sinful that he dismisses the belief in his emendation as presumptuous. It would seem to him that he can do no better than commend himself, in all his sinfulness, to the mercy of God,and endure all the misery of sin with patience.  For Luther knows no purification and sanctification but merely an on-imputation of our sins for the sake of Christ. This generates no resolution to begin a new life in Christ.
He who is filled with true penitence will not only say to God: "Turn away Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities, " but continue thus:" Create a clean heart in me, O God: and Renee a right spirit within my bowels....Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit." The true Christian, though mindful of the fact that left to himself he would fall again and again, also knows that in Baptism he has received from Christ a supernatural principle of holy life, and that through God's grace he shall and can become a new man. Contrition does not paralyze the Christian, nor does it deprive him of fortitude. In his act of penitence he will contemplate, not so much his own weakness as the merciful arms of God that are extended to receive him into His holiness. Contrition alone may thus melt our hearts so as to enable us to receive and preserve the imprint of a basic new orientation towards God. From contrition thus experienced there will arise in him the genuine and heroic determination to become a new man. He forms the resolution, cleansed of all illusions and conceived in holy sobriety, never again separate himself from God."  This is a big reflection on how we can not only look for forgiveness but praying for mercy is good, however we can't excuse ourselves for looking for formal forgiveness just because we feel we sin all the time it may seem impossible to be formally forgiven and that it's sufficient to trust God's mercy and assume you will be forgiven, this is not real penitence

Contrition is a form of radical self-surrender

"True penitence is that of radical self-surrender.  He surrenders himself in humble charity. "

Contrition awakens our soul in its depths

"Contrition causes us to withdraw from our peripheral interests and concentrate on the depths. It is in contrition that we respond to the infinite holiness of our absolute Lord, the eternal Judge. It imparts to the soul of man a unique character of beauty. For it is in contrition that the new fundamental attitude of a humble and reverent charity becomes dominant and manifest, that man abandons the fortress of pride and self-sovereignty." Recognizing our sin creates us to be more charitable.

"Persons who, while leading a correct life and avoiding all transgressions in the strict sense of the term, never come to achieve that full surrender to God which (in a humanity tainted with original sin) is possible in contrition alone. Such persons are anxious to keep God's commandments but they never discover the immense, unbridgeable abyss that separates the holiness of God from our sinfulness. Full self-surrender and the renunciation of all self-assertion(however hidden); the spiritual position of standing naked before God and throwing oneself altogether upon His mercy."  It is noted here that even if we are good following or observe the Ten Commandments, just like the rich man (Mark 10:17) we need to take the next step and full surrender ourselves and this can only be done by accepting our weaknesses and then knowing God is truly merciful.

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