Having reached the end of my second Franciscan University course a couple weeks ago following a mad rush of activity, I’ve found myself wandering a bit aimlessly, contemplating my next move. Over the weekend, I ended up rummaging through a series of old journal entries from the mid-90’s, and came across a handful of comments I’d like to save from the dustbin:
I was able to drive more sanely today. I have many such improvements in mind.
It’s important to make your life worth living; it’s important to live for something worth dying for.
A prayer life is the essential difference between living a truly human life, and living a charade.
The problem with me and drinking is that they’re mutually exclusive.
Once upon a time, I stood up firmly for my beliefs. But that was when I was a rebel: it’s easy to be staunchly egotistical.
I was thinking about change, about repentance, about awareness of sin, and humility. It dawned on me that repentance, or change for the better, is nothing more than being open to a movement toward truth which one already possesses – or apprehends. Repentance, which is spiritual growth, never comes about (never?) as from an outside force, but rather is nothing more than allowing oneself to be convicted of the truth one already apprehends – and which is generally apprehended apprehensively!
This movement brings one closer to the real source of truth, Christ, and consequently opens one up to yet new apprehension of truth – which yet again demands either conversion or aversion. To avert the truth is to refuse and deny repentance. Contrariwise, to confront the truth is to be constantly faced with the perceived need for conversion. Anyone with any experience in that genuine change for the good becomes, as it were, immune to that type of pride which is oblivious of humility. For the one who knows repentance, and who lives a life of spiritual growth, humility is a no-brainer. It is not so much that humility makes repentance possible, as that repentance makes the lack of humility downright impossible. Hence humility grows with repentance, not vice-versa. And spiritual growth is growth in humility.