Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Repenting Requires True Contrition

True ContritionIt’s not enough to say, “I’m sorry.” True contrition means that in the depths of our souls we seek a conversion of heart. We want to change our ways, with the goal of becoming a better person in the eyes of God and neighbor. That’s true repentance; true contrition of heart. Yet, how often do we slip back into repetitive sin?

Identifying the Root Cause of Our Sins

Lent is the perfect time to dig deep and learn the reason(s) why we commit the same sins repeatedly. There is a root cause, and that root cause usually pertains to one of the seven deadly sins.

  • Anger “arises when an evil persists in the face of our resistance or when a good remains beyond our grasp, despite our efforts.”1
  • Envy stems from feelings of inadequacy that result in an inordinate desire for the goods of others.
  • Gluttony causes you to use food and/or drink to look for that momentary “respite” from the reality of your life; to eradicate pain that originates from a painful reality; a reality that you care not to address at the present time.
  • Greed results from deep-seeded needs that went unfulfilled. A greedy person lives in fear of losing his possessions.
  • Lust causes you to objectify the “object” of your desires, rather than seeing the individual as a human being,
  • Pride is the root of all sin, where we think more of ourselves and less of others.
  • Sloth (Laziness) allows doubts and fears to take root, thus figuratively paralyzing a person from taking appropriate action.

Applying True Contrition

Use this Lenten season to dig deep and find the root of your sins. Then take them to the Confessional, and with true contrition, leave them there for God to dispose of in His own way. When we can get to the root of the sin, and eradicate it from our lives, we stand a good chance of ending the repetitiveness of the sin.


1 Schu, Walter. “The Whole Human Person at a Glance,” The Splendor of Love: John Paul II’s Vision for Marriage and Family, New Hope Publications, 2003, p. 70.

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs.

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