- Mother Angelica's Answers, Not Promises by Mother M. Angelica with Christine Allison
...Repentance is critical to achieving holiness. Simply put, it means saying you're sorry to God--and meaning it...We wonder how we could possibly hurt Someone so powerful and wise, or how our puny actions could affect the Creator of the universe.
And yet they do. We all hurt God every day, because His Love for us, individually, is so strong. This is why it's so important to know that when we sin we are not simply making a mistake or doing something 'bad.' We are hurting Someone Who loves us very deeply. When we repent, we go to our wounded Lord and offer a truly sorry heart; we are sorry for our offense and we try never to repeat it.
Repentance means saying you're sorry, but it doesn't mean wallowing in guilt and shame or beating yourself up for committing this sin or that.
Image three persons: a good person, a bad person and a saint.
All three fall into a big, juicy mud puddle, which represents sin.
What does the good person do?
Well, the good person falls in and thinks it's the very end of the universe. He can't believe he blew it. He looks at the mud all over him and he wonders how many people will notice it. He continues to sit there lamenting over it and feeling sorry for himself. And then, finally, he looks up to God and asks for forgiveness. ''I'm sorry, Lord,' he says. 'I should have know better. I'm the lowest of the low. I hate myself. No punishment is too great for me.' And on and on.
The bad person is equally predictable.
He didn't fall into that mud puddle, he dived in head first. He sits there, and he loves it. He wallows in it, pouring the mud all over himself. He enjoys the mud.
But watch the saint now.
The saint, remember, is not perfect, but he is holy. He will make mistakes. But his response is what sets him apart. For the saint falls in to the mud puddle and instantly stands up, his eyes focuses on God, asking for forgiveness immediately with a truly contrite heart. He doesn't dwell on the mistake by wringing his hand or by wondering what others will think of him or by focusing on himself. He turns to God with haste and humility, and he quickly moves on, determined never to make that mistake again.
When we fail to obey the Commandments, when we fall into sin or toy with temptation, our first inclination must be to repent. God in His mercy will accept our plea for forgiveness. He will forgive us. and then we must move on....