A Life of Repentance
St. Benedict Orthodox Church
Celebrating in the Western Rite
of the Antiochian Jurisdiction
Some months ago, a parishioner posed the following question to me, “What does it mean to
live a life of repentance?” I answered the question to the best of my feeble ability, and that
should have been the end of it, but the question continued to hang over me, as it were, and,
in the following weeks, I have continued to mull over the question: “What does it mean to live
a life of repentance?”

Today, I want a address that question in the context of Lent. Keeping that question in mind, I
shift, for a moment, to a statement made by Dimitru Staniloae, an Orthodox Theologian,
concerning repentance: “Repentance expresses the thought: ‘it CAN be better…’
Repentance is borne by a faith in something better.” [Orthodoxy Spirituality, p. 138 –
emphasis is mine]

We tend to think of repentance in a limited manner, and this “restriction” keeps us from
comprehending what it truly means to “live a life of repentance.” We tend toward viewing
repentance as having only to do with our sins and sin patterns. Thus we think of repentance
as looking inward, identifying and admitting our sins, agreeing to correct them, and
repeating this process until our hearts are purified. We also think of Lent as being a time
when we increase such focus and activity.

However, the question, “what does it mean to live a life of repentance”, and Staniloae’s
statement that repentance is a faith in something better, demand that we broaden our
perception of “repentance.”  So we must ask ourselves, “what REALLY IS repentance,” and
“what does it mean to live a LIFE of repentance?
The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.
It is not non-denominational, it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles
since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago in 33 A.D.
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church