Humility has such power. Apologies can disarm arguments. Contrition can defuse rage. Olive branches do more good than battle axes ever will.

Max Lucado

Real contrition includes the impulse to change your ways.

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July 20, 2021

Contrition is not saying you are sorry…contrition is truly being sorry. “I’m sorry” starts with “I’m”. The focus is on me from the get-go. Contrition on the other hand puts the focus on the other, the one who has been harmed by my words and/or actions. Doing whatever can be done to make it right is contrition. Confession followed by acts of love is contrition. Taking personal responsibility for harm done is contrition. “I’m sorry” is usually just me being sorry I got caught, or sorry it came back to bite me.

   —Art Nicklaus

August 9, 2021

Luke 19:1-10 TPT
In the city of Jericho there lived a very wealthy man named Zacchaeus, a who was the supervisor over all the tax collectors. As Jesus made his way through the city, Zacchaeus was eager to see Jesus. He kept trying to get a look at him, but the crowd around Jesus was massive. Zacchaeus was a very short man and couldn’t see over the heads of the people. So he ran on ahead of everyone and climbed up a blossoming fig tree so he could get a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by.  

When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I am appointed to stay at your house today!”  So he scurried down the tree and came face-to-face with Jesus.  As Jesus left to go with Zacchaeus, many in the crowd complained, “Look at this! Of all the people to have dinner with, he’s going to eat in the house of a crook.”  

Zacchaeus joyously welcomed Jesus and was amazed over his gracious visit to his home. Zacchaeus stood in front of the Lord and said, “Half of all that I own I will give to the poor. And Lord, if I have cheated anyone, I promise to pay back four times as much as I stole.”

Jesus said to him, “This shows that today life has come to you and your household, for you are a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.” …

Celebrating the Eucharist requires that we stand in this world accepting our co-responsibility for the evil that surrounds and pervades us. As long as we remain stuck in our complaints about the terrible times in which we live and the terrible situations we have to bear and the terrible fate we have to suffer, we can never come to contrition. And contrition can grow only out of a contrite heart. When our losses are pure fate, our gains are pure luck! Fate does not lead to contrition, nor luck to gratitude.”

“Indeed, the conflicts in our personal lives as well as the conflicts on regional, national, or world scales are our conflicts, and only by claiming responsibility for them can we move beyond them—choosing a life of forgiveness, peace, and love.”

   —Henri Nouwen