Monk being marked for repentance during lent

Br. Christopher shares on the steps for repentance. “Dear friends, we are in the season of Lent, a wonderful time of Grace gifted us by God for beginning anew.  Another name for starting anew is repentance.  Since repentance is something I have quite a bit of experience with, I would like to share a method that has been what has been helpful for me:

Steps for repentance

1. FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE FAULT committed, as well as the harm it does to oneself, to others and to God’s loving plan for the world.  As far as we can, we strive to do so in simplicity and humble honesty without making excuses, blaming others or seeking escape from the discomfort of simply being human.

2. REPENT, with a sincere intention for change/transformation, along with an action plan of how to avoid the fault in the future.

3. MAKE AMENDS, which simply means set things right as best one can.  For instance, repairing a wounded relationship, cleaning up a mess we made, making repayment if we have cheated someone, etc.   We also can strive to repair the harm the harm the fault caused to our soul by means of penance, that is, to practice the opposite virtue of the fault. For instance, practicing the virtue of patience if we have been short tempered, being generous if we have been stingy, etc.

4. RETURN TO PEACE, in humility.  Be forgiving with yourself, remembering compassionately your weakness and woundedness as a member of a fallen human race and the boundless mercy of God’s Love for you.  Above all remember that God loves you and “never lose hope in God’s Mercy!” (Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 4)

Peace and Love to all,

Your brothers of New Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux

#lent #repentence #peace #mercy #trappist #monks #NewClairvaux