Immersed in Christ: Saturday, August 7, 2021
A Bird’s Eye Review
Contrition is the logical starting point of confession. But we need to see contrition in a more generic way, not just as sorrow for some particular sin (although this might spark the process on a given occasion), but as the abiding sense we all have that we stand imperfect before God, always in need of his mercy and forgiveness.
All contrition should be grounded in a fundamental sense of human weakness. We do not start with the assumption, “I am perfect except for….” That is Phariseeism: the identification of religion with observance of the law, combined with a sense of righteousness if we are not conscious of any laws we might be breaking.
Rather, we stand before the infinite holiness of God, all presumption annihilated in his presence. We are deeply conscious that we do not know him enough to praise him adequately, appreciate him enough to love him as we should, or reverence him enough to serve him as we ought.
The first effect of contrition is awareness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.