1. The miracle of repentance
Who doesn't want to be happy? No one! We all want joy and peace, that's why we do everything to achieve it. But despite our efforts, it is very difficult to succeed. That's why we are wondering what's really to blame.
The secret is not found in acquiring various material things or in bodily pleasures, but in the most precious thing that a man has, which is his immortal soul.
As we all know, man is not made up only from his material and perishable body but also from the intangible, indestructible and immortal soul. That's how God created us, with a body and a soul.
At birth, the mother gives the baby its body through her blood. However, the soul of man is given to him by God himself, and that's why the true mother and father of the soul is only God.
The soul is only happy when it is in the embrace of its Creator and secretly enjoys, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, the divine motherly love of God its Father.
Every time that a man, who has been led astray by deceitful Satan, wounds his soul with mistakes and sins, it suffers, grieves and hurts, because it sees the grace of God being removed from it together with the affectionate presence of God's motherly love.
That's what Satan wants to achieve. He wants to remove every soul from God's embrace by the destructive power of sin, so that he will succeed later to make it completely his own by his satanic bondages.
But God, Who loves us infinitely, gave us a great gift, the sacrament of Repentance, so that we will not stay permanently under the satanic influence because of our sins.
Whoever truly repents for his mistakes and sins and wants to confess to his spiritual father with humility, then our Lord erases his sins. So, cleansed from every impurity and sin, he is saved by the grace of the Holy Spirit with all the joys and blessings which that brings to him.
This is the great miracle that our merciful God the Father wants all of us to know, so that we will seek and live it every day, every hour and moment.
The miracle of Repentance!
The importance of the Sacrament
of Repentance for man’s salvation
The importance of the Sacrament of Repentance is that without it, our salvation is impossible.
Who can say today with certainty that he is not a sinner or that he will never sin? A little or a lot, we all sin on a daily basis. So, we become captives of Satan and guilty before divine justice. So, the only way to get rid of the terrible bondage of sin by which Satan has bonded us and to return into God's embrace is Repentance and Confession.
While our mistakes and the sins that we commit have the power to make us stray from our Creator God, sincere repentance and apology have the equal power to bring us back to the love and embrace of our Father God.
The demon fears nothing as much as man's repentance. Each time a man repents and decides to stop his mistakes and the sins he commits for the sake of God the Father, Satan's power and bondages over him are destroyed.
For this reason, Repentance is the most precious gift that God gave to man, as only with it can every sinner be released from every satanic influence and be flooded with the grace of God.
This precious gift is given to us by our philanthropist Lord, because he knows the power of our inherent inclination towards evil because of the original sin.
What harm can mistakes and sins do to our soul?
Sins are any act that man makes against God's will and the law of love, which God Himself legislated, so that we are all cheerful and happy.
Sin is a selfish act of man, which shows that he doesn't trust the will of God the Father, but wants to follow what, according to his opinion, will make him cheerful and happy.
The two parts of sin are the lack of trust in our Heavenly Father and our disobedience to His divine will. With these two weapons Satan gains every soul and makes it a sinner. The result is certainly painful, since the grace of God is removed from the soul and with it joy and serenity. Now anxiety, sadness, despair, pain, misery and so many other evils take their place giving the soul a foretaste of hell.
The worst of all, however, is what sin does to the soul, it leads it gradually to the worst result, which is its condemnation to eternal hell.
It's up to us to choose if we prefer the destructive path of sin or if we accept with gratitude the heavenly gift of Repentance.
Our choice will determine our future happiness or misery.
From a thief... to a Saint!
How many former great sinners and criminals didn't, by their repentance and humility, become great saints of our Church, thanks to the grace and mercy of our most merciful God the Father!
An example is Saint Moses the Ethiopian. His conversion from the road of crime to the path of virtue can console even the greatest sinner, who doubts if God can forgive him and accept him back into His divine Fatherly arms.
I was astonished, the biographer of Saint Moses writes, and became ecstatic when I was told how the famous ascetic of the African desert, Moses the Ethiopian, converted and from a bandit became a saintly monk. This is briefly his exemplary story.
Moses was a native of Africa. He was bought as a slave by a rich landowner. Because he was very tough and irritable, every day he was causing problems at his master's house by quarrelling with the other slaves. He became so unbearable that his master was forced to send him away.
Moses took refuge with a gang of bandits. With his tremendous strength he quickly managed to impose himself on the other bandits and became their leader. An example of his meanness and brutality is the following event.
Once he failed in one of his illegal night-time raids because of the wild barking of the shepherd's dog guarding a flock of sheep which were grazing nearby. He was so angry that he decided to kill the shepherd. But he had to cross to the other bank of the river Nile, in order to get to the shepherd's hut. Therefore, he rushed into the water, which because of the heavy rainfall, had started to swell and made the passage very difficult. Moses tied his clothes in a bundle on his head, he held a large machete in his teeth with which he was spreading panic and destruction everywhere, and swam to the other bank of the river. In the meantime, however, the shepherd had disappeared to save his life. As the robber chief didn't find the shepherd anywhere, in revenge, he fell with unprecedented fury upon the herd and slaughtered all the sheep that were in front of him. When his eyes had seen enough blood, he tied the four best rams together by their tails and he carried them on his shoulders and again swam across the River Nile. Then, he cooked the rams, ate the best meat and drank twenty liters of wine which he had hidden, walked fifty miles without stopping and this human beast arrived at his hideout.
Once, however, when Moses was chased by the police for many crimes, he was forced to hide deep in the desert, where the holy Egyptian ascetics were living.
His association with those holy ascetics and the understanding and compassion they showed him slowly calmed his barbaric instincts. Certainly the prayers that all the ascetics made for him played an important role. And God, who does not want the death of the sinner, flooded his soul with His grace.
The black savage felt his heart often; he repented for all his sins and asked for redemption. The change was radical. Much faster than even the most imaginative mind could predict, Moses reached the standards of the most great holy fathers and ascetics of the desert. He became a role model of virtue and holiness and a living example for those with difficult characters who want to change their lives and become people of God and virtue.
Once, four robbers who were old friends of Moses, went into his small hut to rob it, without imagining whom they would find inside. When they saw him they were literally dumbfounded! He caught them easily, tied them up and led them to the meeting of the holy ascetics.
-What do you want me to do with these men who came to rob me, he asked? It is not proper for me to harm anyone anymore.
The ascetics advised him to release them and let them go unharmed.
However, the robbers did not want to leave! They were shocked by the example of their former leader, therefore, they stayed close to him to find the right path of virtue.Our Church placed him among the saints and celebrates his memory on 28th August!