Twentieth Day of Lent
Repentance can be motivated by many things.
It can be motivated by sorrow, by guilt, or by shame.
Insofar as our repentance is motivated by those realities,
let them be genuine so that our repentance will be genuine.
It can also be motivated by fear.
Don’t let it be, since fear of judgment or punishment
can hardly lead to genuine repentance. Once the perceived
threat has passed, the repentance will pass, too.
Let our repentance be motivated by love.
Let it be motivated by our love for you and by our love for others.
Let us want to give ourselves—including the worst parts of ourselves—
up for you. Make us willing to give up our pride for the sake of others.
Help us to repent not so much because we feel sorry, guilty,
or ashamed—even though those may be legitimate feelings.
Help us to repent not at all because we are afraid.
Help us rather to repent because we love you and we love others,
and so are willing to change for your sake and for their sake.