True & False Repentance

As we approach Pascha we will be seeing two types of repentance. One is true and one is false. Judas represents a false repentance. St. Peter, on the other hand, demonstrates a true repentance. The difference is this: when Judas came to his senses he was stricken with guilt. His guilt is a false guilt. His guilt is a self-punishing prideful guilt. It is focused on himself and what he did wrong. In his pride he declared himself to be judge, jury and executioner. This role belongs only to God. He did not seek reconciliation but rather engaged in a selfish form of self-punishment that ended in his death.St. Peter on the other hand, was filled with guilt because he had hurt Jesus. After running away and crying he came to his senses and sought reconciliation.False repentance along with fault guilt is centered inward, on the wrongness of one’s own behavior. It creates a self-attacking, highly critical voice that leads to self-destruction. True guilt is about wanting to make reparation for the wrong done to another person. True guilt is about a desire to reconnect and make amends. It allows God to work in us to heal and transform.This Lenten season is about repentance. It is about making reconciliation with God and our fellow Christians. I learned from my spiritual father that the experience of God brings a profound sense of one’s unworthiness and, this is the most important part, creates a desire to repent. So let us in this Paschal season be reminded of the resurrection and seek reconciliation with others. We can do this by making direct amends, and if we cannot, we always have the ability to pray for those whom we have hurt and those who have hurt us. Have a blessed Pascha.  Fr. Deacon Jan Veselak

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