St. Stephen's Musings

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:: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 ::

Repentance and the Renewal of Baptism

These are some quodlibets from one of the talks given by Fr. Dn. John earlier this month on "Repentance as Resurrection":

* The beginning of repentance is already the beginning of resurrection.

* Our sacramental birth into the life of the Church is the beginning of our life of repentance. But repentance is actually forward looking, not backward. It does not "tally up our naughty deeds" but rather looks toward new life. "Forgetting what lies behind..."

* Repentance is an invitation to accountability. It is, as St. John Climacus puts it, "a renewal of baptism." In fact, the Orthodox Christian life is nothing more (and nothing less) than the uncovering and nurturing of the grace of our Baptism.

* The word evil is "live" spelled backward--refusal to repent is the very opposite of life

* Before we can experience the resurrection we need to actually face evil. This is why the candidate for baptism first faces the west, where the shadows of the rising sun fall. This is symbolic of the reality that the catechumen is facing in their life; the confrontation and "eye-to-eyeness" with sins.

* We must say "No" to evil before we can turn to Christ.

Update: Seraphim also has a series of notes on repentance

:: Karl :: 8:10:00 AM [Link] ::

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