From God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ &

Our Lady of Emmitsburg on:

 

REPENTANCE

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)

 

“He that sins against his own soul, shall repent;

and he that is delighted with wickedness, shall be condemned.”

(Eccl. 19:6)

 

Repent!  The Kingdom of God is at hand!”

(Mt 3:2)

 

The Modern Catholic Dictionary defines “repentance” as a voluntary sorrow for having done something wrong (against God or man), together with the resolve to amend one’s conduct by taking the necessary means to avoid the occasions of sin.  “To repent” is to be sorry for sin with self-condemnation.

 

 Very early is His Lessons to the world through Gianna Sullivan, Our Lord spoke of the war between vanity and humility that must be waged in each and every spiritual journey:

 

“I tell you, child, My people are vain.  There is no humility or self-denial.  My people do not renounce themselves and ask for My Spirit to purify and sanctify them—vanity!...If you wish to receive My knowledge of everlasting life, then live your lives with humility.  Know it is better not to speak if your words lack humility, are full of pride, and question disrespectfully.  My knowledge would tell you first to look at your own actions and repent before My Father….”

 

“…Woe to those who discredit these My words of Truth—My priests, My nuns, My theologians, My lay people.  I tell you who have received the gift of My intellect, ‘Beware that your pride in My knowledge does not deceive you or distract you.  Pray for humility and self-denial.’”  (JOM, Vol I, #74, Aug 8, 1989)

 

“Prepare as if death were today….Your many acquaintances shall forget you.  You are only a momentary necessity to many, and many shall forget you…..The time will come quickly, and you shall be taken away; and at that time, you shall be taken out of sight and out of mind….Be fearful that I, your Lord God, do not forget you.  Those who live for earthly treasures and momentary pleasures shall be forgotten by the Son of Man….Fear that your soul be ready and found in good standing for the Son of Man to make His resting place.  Repent and reform your earthly, vain lives to the life of everlasting peace!”  (JOM, Vol I, #75, Aug. 9, 1989)

 

Repentance is both a necessary requirement and the means through which humanity—whether as individuals, communities, nations, the world at large, or even the Church itself—returns to God.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg discusses what is involved in that act of repentance:

 

“Return to God in littleness and depend on Him to lead you.  Pray before Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament for the truth of your deceitful ways so that you will be able to repent in humility and be made whole….In order to do this, you must humbly submit to changing your deceitful ways of power, reputation, the acceptance of man, and success for your own glory, to that which belongs to God.  Return to God, and at all costs seek to be obedient to Him.”  (Public OLOE, May 5, 1994)  “If you are intimately united to His Most Sacred Heart, you will tap the source of repentant tears in admonishment of your sins.”  (Public OLOE, Feb, 2, 1995)

 

“Jesus died to save all people who repent of their sins and seek the Mercy of God.  Your primary focus in this life should be centered on God….Do not focus on your prestige, material goods, success or self-image, for they will have no value when you go before the Throne of God and see Him face to face.  It is the state of your soul that is of an urgent matter and needs to be nurtured…”  (Public OLOE, Feb. 1, 1996)

 

“Therefore, be attentive, little children.  Receive His grace.  Do not allow His grace to fall on deaf ears through a lack of cooperation.  Nourish His grace so that it will produce fruits.  Responding to His grace will lead you to repentance.”  (Public OLOE, Sept. 12, 1996)

 

Fear has always been an obstacle to repentance.  Our Lady both encourages fearlessness and explains its effects:

 

“Do not fear, little children.  God is merciful, especially to the repentant sinner….Jesus accepts your suffering in reparation for the continual outrages He receives….Your thoughts must be tempered and purified before any attempts of speech pass your lips.  Your actions need to reflect the purity of your thoughts.  Silence is the sword which slays the deception of evil.”  (Public OLOE, Oct.10, 1996)

 

“God the Father is a loving Father, and He loves you.  Do not be afraid to give Him yourself.  Many people are afraid to give themselves unconditionally to God for fear of losing their freedom and not being able to live their own life according to their plans and desire.  They fear they will be unhappy and filled with misfortunes.  The truth, however, is just the opposite….God’s Plan of Love covers all areas….He can turn something that appears bad into something good….When a sinner repents, he is sanctified, and the opportunity still exists for him to be free and happy.  It is only when a person does not repent that it interferes and separates him from God’s Plan of Love.”  (Public OLOE, Feb 12, 1998)

 

Once humanity became afflicted with original sin after the sin of Adam and Eve, God no longer made perfect human beings except for the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He made all His children—saints and prophets, priests and religious, rich and poor, intelligent and simple-minded, the extraordinary and the ordinary—all with imperfections and weaknesses.  The universal awareness of sin in two of God’s greatest, namely King David as well as St. Peter himself, has been preserved in Sacred Scripture throughout the centuries to demonstrate this point: from weakness can come forth greatness and holiness.   OLOE relates:

 

“Do not be frustrated by your imperfections.  Remember:  All the saints and prophets in the past were imperfect; and it was because of their weaknesses that they were made strong.  For example:  King David, how often did he offend God?  Yet God, Who is so merciful and so loving, was kind and not vindictive because of David’s repentance and true sorrow….Because of original sin, there will be the imperfections; but through the grace of God, you can rise above all challenges and be made whole again….What a great honor it is for God to see those who truly seek to be like Him.  Even in your weaknesses and sinful ways, you know that God the Father gave my Son to be sacrificed, crushed, spat upon, kicked, mocked and rebuked for you and for all of humanity….”(Private OLOE, Jan 11, 2006)  “He endured the torments of death for you.  No one knows the depth of the pain and sorrow which He endured in patience for the salvation of humanity….Come to Jesus Who was rejected and betrayed….He awaits you to dress His Wounds with your love.  Do not allow the devil to frighten you by presenting to you the sins of your youth….Humble yourself and repent.  Trust in His Mercy, and He will justify you in His Love.” (Public OLOE, Aug. 26, 1999)

 

And then there is St. Peter, the Rock, chosen by Our Lord to lead His Church.  Our Lady highlights the difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot:

 

“St. Peter denied my Son.  He denied Him three times.  He was very angry when he knew exactly what Judas had done to my Son.  In fact, if St. John had not found Judas first, Peter would have killed him.  And yet, these Apostles were the ones around my Son, visibly seeing Him and being taught by Him; and they failed.  Yes, but Peter repented!”  (Private OLOE, Apr. 16, 2009)

 

“To be a true follower of my Son, only Love must exist!  Regardless of your weaknesses, repent, return to God and love.  For the measure you love will be given back to you.”  (Private OLOE, Nov. 5, 2006)   “It is good that you do not wait until your last dying breath to repent for your sins.  That presumption would be a grave mistake!... Even when you present your sins to Him, He sees all of who you are.  He refreshes your soul.  He cleanses you.   As long as you repent and are sorry, sins are forgiven forever.”(Private OLOE Jan. 23, 2007)  There are many sinners out there.  You are not the first.  You only need to recognize your sinful ways, repent and have an open heart and a desire to change.”  (Private OLOE, Aug 2, 2007)

 

Through His Church Our Lord has provided all humanity with an opportunity to live the sacramental life, and most pertinent to this discussion of repentance is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  For those who do not have access to the sacramental life, a similar spiritual process of repentance and reconciliation is necessary.  Our Lord Himself in His Lessons teaches:

 

“Sin will continuously stain the soul until you allow forgiveness from Me and yourself.  I cannot forgive you, if you hold bound your sin by not forgiving yourself.  The conflict and separation of inner being will exist until you allow My goodness to prevail.  Reconciliation is needed to see Me in your heart.”  (JOM, Vol IV, #92, Sept. 15, 1992)  “When My people come to Me to receive reconciliation, I ask that they see Me in their hearts.  I wish for them to pray to My Spirit to guide them in what needs to be asked in forgiveness; and then, in repentance, see Me in their hearts.  A true confession will result from My Spirit’s guidance, and from their sincerity and humility….Lastly, My people need to humble themselves to accept the truth and allow Me to unite My goodness and purity in them.  The joy and the freshness would be so overwhelming in this time of confession to Me that they would feel reborn.  It would be a rebirth!”  (JOM, Vol I, #73, July 29, 1989)

 

Our Lord reviews three phases to the salvation of souls:

 

“The first phase is that of truth and honesty….Souls that need salvation must first be wounded to accept the truth that they are in danger…..Secondly, after acceptance, the soul wishes to silently repent….The healing of these souls comes from the Charity of God….Thirdly, the soul does not live in fear!  It is bold….It knows the protection of God….It crushes the fermented wickedness of evil and replaces it with noncombustible Love!”  (JOM, Vol II, #22, Nov 29, 1989)

 

Our Lady of Emmitsburg too elaborates on the fruits of repentance:

 

“Surrendering unconditionally and with filial confidence comes with a price, that being that your self-image and your personal desires must be mortified so that my Son can be glorified.  As you do this, I can tell you that your personal desires will then be fulfilled within the glory of my Son and within the time of His Plan….When you know Him, how much will you repent for all the opportunities you could have given of yourselves in praise and glory to Him for all the wondrous works of Love that He does for you and humanity.”  (Private OLOE, June 18, 2003)

 

 

As with any rules and regulations, so too are there consequences of neglecting or denying those commandments necessary for eternal life with God.  Our Lady discusses some of these consequences: 

 

“There is so much power and pride in the world today; and yet, God seeks holiness for you….Even with the depth of your sin and even until your last breath, you can ask for forgiveness because God is merciful.  But if you do not repent and reform your lives and return to God, your sin is like worms devouring you, like excrement so undesirable and horrific.”  (Public OLOE, Mar. 5, 2006)  “The time will come when those who have desired not to know my words will find out what they’ve lost, but they will still have time to change if they repent.  For those who are ashamed or angry that they did not get their way, then how sad that will be; but through prayer, there is always hope that they too will come back.”  (Private OLOE, Dec. 31, 2006)

 

But what about those who still refuse to repent?  Our Lord in His Lessons to the world strongly addresses this:

 

“I came to save the sinner, but My people think they have not sinned and do not need God.  They have made idols of themselves.  Anything which is good within them they display and brag outwardly in self-love.  They do not see that all good things come from Me and Me alone, not through their own merit.  They consider themselves perfect and in need of no change.  Any vice of their flesh is excused.  Yet they are impatient with anyone who does not show them respect or honor.  They are proud and lack faith.  They do not love God and they do not love their countrymen.  They thrive on the misfortunes of their enemies.  They are full of pride and self-love.  Their lack of faith is due to their negligence in seeking the knowledge of God in truth and in humility.  A lack of faith is a lack of conviction about the Truth of My sweetness.  They do not desire an intimate or personal relationship with Me.  They do not desire a deep living faith which surpasses all knowledge.  All their intentions stem from self-interest, comfort, and praise about which they boast deceitfully.” (JOM, Vol V, #8, March 18, 1995)  “My people with indifference and disinterest in correcting their sin continue to act like blind ones, pretending not to see their ways.  They fear the loss of their position or material goods; and they are deprived of the light of knowledge and of all grace because of their lukewarm hearts of indifference and disinterest.  They do not correct their faults.  They do not attempt to pray unless they receive consolation in return.  They do not stand firm in penance, so they are blind and confounded in guilt.”  (JOM, Vol V, #6, Feb. 6, 1995) “What state could be more sinful?  Yet, they think they are not sinners and do not need salvation.  This carelessness will result in their own judgment in due season.  If they will not heed My Word and allow My Mercy to change their strong hearts to repentant hearts, their judgment standards will toss them into the abyss of eternal flames which will consume their souls in everlasting agony and misery.”  (JOM, Vol V, #8, March 18, 1995)

 

Who other than Our Lord Himself could worthily introduce God the Father into this discussion?

 

“God the Father is loving and wise.  Many of My people have the wrong image of My Father.  That is because you cannot go to the Father except through Me.  All who know Me know the Father.  Few people truly know my Father.  I take each person to the Father when it is the proper time.” (JOM, Vol V, #18, Sept. 12, 1995)  “My Father is merciful and kind, especially to the repentant sinner.  Just as Nineveh was spared, so too can the world in which you live be spared….I await My people to return to Love.  This does not mean that man is perfect or will not fail.  If that were the case, My death for love of you would have been in vain.  It means that through prayer and humility in accepting yourself in failure, you are able to grow in holiness and reach the Kingdom through patience and the virtues dispensed from God…”.(JOM, Vol V, #30.Nov. 12, 1995)

 

And in His first “Words” of God the Father to the world through Gianna, released on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 2005, the Eternal Father affirmed Our Lady’s role in the salvific plan:

 

“Man went against My Word.  Man needed to repent and atone for sin.  From the inception of this most beautiful Plan of the Holy Trinity, it was determined that My Son would later come in human flesh to redeem the world which, created by My Hands, would come back to Me….”

 

“There at the same time was created the most beautiful, sinless Immaculate Soul, whose Heart would be pierced with a sword….No woman has ever been created, nor shall ever be created, as pure and holy as this most Immaculate Virgin.  She now pleads on your behalf and has come to the Foot of the Throne of God….”

 

“….Seek refuge in the most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary which is united to the Most Sorrowful and Loving Heart of My Son.  You cannot have One without the other.  For the Flesh in the womb was the Flesh of humanity.  The Blood was her blood.  In His Glory is her glory, in which you are invited to share because she cannot fully come into Heaven without drawing her children with her.  She is imploring My help in all of this for those who desire to be consecrated to Me; and I will now intervene and want all to seek refuge in her.”  (GTF, Dec. 8, 2005)

 

Our Lady, as the loving Mother of all mankind, consoles her children:

 

“I gather all of you children maternally into the ark of refuge of my Immaculate Heart.  Do not fear, little children.  God is merciful, especially to the repentant sinner.  Seek always to live in Divine Providence….I bless you, little ones, in the Name of Jesus who has allowed me to be with you in this special way,”  (Private OLOE, Oct. 10, 1996)  “I am not a mother who instills fear but a Mother who gives hope.  A mother has the responsibility to teach her children about authentic love, true freedom, honest practices and just human values, thus securing the respect for the moral order….I am here to gather my children so that they may seek refuge in my Immaculate Heart and grow harmoniously in their spiritual development.  I point to my Son Who gifts wisdom to all who desire to know the Truth and receive the Light to know themselves.  Jesus has come to save you, not condemn you….Jesus will not tolerate evil acts, and His Justice will prevail; but He is merciful to the repentant sinner.”  (Public OLOE, Aug. 19, 1999)

 

And as that same loving Mother, who takes pride when she sees her children responding to God’s Will, Our Lady of Emmitsburg both encourages and thanks those who have listened to her and responded to her call:

 

“How blessed you are that you continue to persevere and to love, to seek the Truth, to uphold the Truth, and to live the Truth.  Because of the few, the very few chosen ones, who continue to remain faithful at all costs, life itself in the world will have a new beginning and be different from what it would have otherwise been.  Yes, because the effects of sin and many events can be and have been mitigated through prayer, repentance and reconciliation.”  (Private OLOE, Feb. 14, 2004) 

“Thank you, children.  You are blessed because God has blessed you.  I, your most pure and humble Mother, am grateful for your ‘fiat,’  for your perseverance, for your fortitude, and for your continual repentance when you’ve noted that you failed.  You resurface and try again.  Thank you for being my heroes.”(Private OLOE, Jan. 15, 2009)

 

 

Unfortunately, as we look out over the world today in the personal and family lives of humanity, at the moral relativism in our societies, at the greed and corruption in our corporate and government institutions, at the impurity that has engulfed our world, even extending into the Church, it is easy to see that humanity has a long way to go to achieve repentance, let alone to even recognize the need for repentance and desire it. 

 

God the Father, in His “Words” to the world, closes this discussion on repentance:

 

“I wait; I watch; I listen; and My Judgment is a judgment of Justice.  You, children of humanity, know not the day, the hour nor the time; not the place nor the event.  Perhaps then, it is time for you to amend your lives and to be enlightened, as if today was your last.  Perhaps, it is time for you to love, as if today was your last opportunity to love; and perhaps it is time for you to be grateful, as if today was your last chance to give praise and thanksgiving to Me for your life.”  (GTF, Jan. 8, 2006)  “What have you done to repent, as you continue to ignore My Words, the Words of my Blessed Son and those of My dearly beloved Mary?”  (GTF, July 8, 2006)

 

“Sometimes I threaten to uproot and tear down and destroy a nation or a kingdom. 

But if that nation which I have threatened turns from its evil,

I also repent of the evil which I threatened to do.

Sometimes again, I promise to build up and plant a nation or a kingdom.

But if that nation does what is evil in my eyes, refusing to obey my voice,

repent of the good with which I promised to bless it.”

(Jer 18: 7-10)

 

Having suffered and died for the sins of humanity, Our Lord assumed the repentance necessary to reconcile us to the Father and to gain us eternal life.  All we have to do is cooperate with that grace!  If we could only do that, Our Lord would not have to still be pleading like this:

 

“Return to God, My loved ones.  Please return.  Change the current path towards human destruction to one of love, peace, unity and life.  Live in freedom through living the Truth of My Word….My Word will not change.  It stands as is, for I am the living Word.  Those who live in Me live My Word….So many have chosen to walk away.  Come, return to My Love.  Live My Word of Truth.  I love you, My beloved people.  am your Jesus of Mercy.  I am Love, and I have so much to give you, more than you could ever imagine.  Come, come to Me.  Return back to Me.  Return to God.   All I can ask of you and all I can invite you to is to ‘Return to God!’”  (JOM, Vol V, #30, Nov. 12, 1995)

 

 

“Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds,

and listen to the voice of the Lord your God;

so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which He threatens you.”

(Jer 26:13)

 

“This is the time of fulfillment.  The Kingdom of God is at hand. 

Repent, and believe the Gospel!”

(Mark 1:15)

 

 

(Initially this compilation was to include the themes of both repentance and penance.  However, in the absence of repentance, what is the purpose and value of penance?)