Man is a mutineer, man is a rebel and because of that, he has distanced himself from God and with- drawn to himself. The less aware of his condition man is, and the less repentant, the more static sin remains. Man needs, in other words, to sense the lack, the absence of God. He needs to feel that it is communion with God he essentially misses not this or that good, this or the other virtue. If he cannot perceive this, he cannot repent. When he does, then he truly repents.
If you say: “From tomorrow onwards I will stop doing what I have been doing until now”, this is not repentance. Repentance is when you cease being your own boss, when you cease looking into yourself to administer justice, when you give up expecting to find salvation, virtue, joy and all other good things in you. You have repented when you seek for these things in God, instead. Forget all the rest; first and foremost should come your communion with God.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos (†)
From the book: Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, “SPIRITUAL MESSAGES” Panorama Thessaloniki, 2017