First you must turn

Daily Reading for October 20

Repentance itself is nothing else but a kind of circling; to return to him by repentance, from whom by sin we have turned away. This circle consists of two things. These two things need to be in two different movements. One is done with the whole heart, while the other is broken and torn. So both things cannot happen at the same time.

First of all you must turn. In this you look forward to God and with your whole heart resolve to turn to him. Then, you must turn again, and this time you look backwards to yours sins, in which we have turned away from God. As we look at them our actual heart breaks. One turn is conversion from sin, and the other turn is contrition for sin. One resolves to amend what is to come while the other reflects on and is sorrowful over the past. One resists future evil while the other passes sentence on itself for the evil that it has already done. Between them, these two make up complete repentance, or a perfect revolution.

From Sermon Four on Repentance: Ash Wednesday (1619) by Lancelot Andrewes.

Past Posts