Sunday, October 3, 2010

On Repentance

A print of Rembrandt's Prodigal Son hangs in the hall on the way from the Sanctuary to the Sacristy in St. Michael's Cathedral.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants. - Luke 15:18-19.

The very best that can be said of the fallen and redeemed race of Adam is, that they confess their fall, and condemn themselves for it, and try to recover themselves. And this state of mind, which is in fact the only possible religion left to sinners, is represented to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son, who is described as receiving, then abusing, and then losing God's blessings, suffering from their loss, and brought to himself by the experience of suffering. A poor service indeed to offer, but the best we can offer, to make obedience our second choice when the world deserts us, when that is dead and lost to us wherein we were held!   – Bl. John Henry Newman

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