Skip to comments.Repent! Convert! Two Words that Need to Be Rediscovered
Posted on 08/08/2013 3:17:44 PM PDT by NYer
Too many Catholics are uncomfortable using the biblical and traditional words, “Repent,” convert and conversion. To repent means to change your mind and come to a new way of living. To convert means to turn from sinful ways or erroneous teaching.
But too many Catholics, including priests are uncomfortable using words like this. We used to speak of convert classes etc. But now many prefer abstract descriptions like, “Inquiry Classes” or the even more abstract “RCIA”
Many draw back lest they seem to suggest that others are wrong, “going wrong,” need to change, or, heaven forfend, “sinful.” Words like repent and convert more than suggest that there is right and wrong, true and false, sanctity and sinfulness, good and evil.
But the fact is, many, including us, need on-going conversion And a good number need outright conversion And a complete change of mind, heart and behavior.
Of course repentance and the call to conversion are a key biblical summons. repentance is not suggested, it is commanded, and without it we will not see the kingdom of God.
Perhaps a central reason for the embarrasment many feel at the call to repentance and conversion is that it runs a foul of a kind of ”consumer Christianity” wherein faith is reduced to using God’s grace to access blessings but not to give one’s life over to Jesus Christ in love and obedience. Consumer Chrisitanity targets “seekers” looking for enrichment rather than disciples. The heart of discipleship is, as Jesus says, is to “Deny yourself, take up your Cross, and follow me.”
But when faith is reduced to personal enrichment, true discipleship seems obnoxious and words like repentance, conversion, and concepts like self denial, and the cross are non-starters and rejected as negative, judgemental, and, to use consumer language, is bad marketing.
To be sure, the faith does enrich and words like repentance and conversion need not be accompanied with sour faces or with no reference to the joy of salvation. We need not act like the wild-eyed sidewalk evangelists screaming repent only as a tactic of cringing fear.
But as to the avoidance of any fear at all and the words repent and convert, nothing could be more unChrist-like, for Jesus led with the summons to repent. It was in the very opening words of his public ministry: He said, “The time is now! The kingdom of God is near! Repent, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).
And why does Jesus lead with this? Because the joy and enrichement of salvation cannot be accessed except through repentance and conversion. Eternal Life cannot be accessed except through turning our back on this world and dying to it. Easter Sunday is accessed only through Good Friday.
Consumer Christianity cannot save. Repentance and conversion, even if not popular in marketing focus groups of “seeker-sensitive” mega-churches, must be recovered in the call and vocabularly of the Church. Watering down the very thing Jesus led with is no way to make true disciples.
Repent and be converted that the Gospel may fill you.
Good article. No more watered down homilies. Tell it like it really is, priests! (And Bishops, too.)
The Monsignor used the words "repent" and "convert"!!
He's ignored the Bland Generalities Clause of the Go Along to Get Along Treaty !!!
The Catholic funerals that I’ve gone to over the years (and I was raised Catholic) had one commonality that made me hurl. It mattered not if the priest knew or was a stranger to the deceased: They all comforted the grieving family by telling them their loved one was in heaven. How would they know? I mean seriously cut that crap out. And the deceased would range from weekly church goers to never attending, never proclaiming their faith (secularists). I guess all that mattered was giving the warm and fuzzies to the assembled crowd.
Definitely not the norm here in Philadelphia. In fact, my wife and I a few months ago were at a funeral of an extremely holy man (husband and father of 11) and the priest went out of his way to say he never says this and of course he can't canonize anybody, but he has a feeling that our friend was in Heaven and we should feel free to beg his intercession. It was a remarkable comment to us. And it was also very fitting because my wife and I had just had that very conversation in the car on the way over to the funeral.
**They all comforted the grieving family by telling them their loved one was in heaven**
Our priest does not do this.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl needs to repent of his stubborn refusal to obey Canon 915. According to Cardinal Raymond Burke, refusing to obey Canon 915 is a mortal sin.
Can you kindly explain again what Canon number 915 is? I forgot what that one is. Thank-you. :)
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
I added the italics
As you will be able to see, the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of Cardinal Wuerl, flies in the face of Canon 915.
There is no way to reconcile Cardinal Wuerl’s position with the plain meaning of Canon 915. All remaining doubt on this question is entirely attributable to moral corruption and intellectual dishonesty.
Here is the problem.
Such a rule sadly is only enforced in the breech, meaning hardly enforced at all.
Would it be fair to say that some Bishops take Catch 22 as a model of logic?
No it isn't...There's nothing in the bible about converting to your religion or anything else...It would be nice for a change to read something Catholic that doesn't pervert the bible...But I won't hold my breath...
Bible says repent...That means to turn to Jesus...Trust in Jesus...
When that happens, Jesus puts you/me into his church...There's no conversion...
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