interior penance?

1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.

1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is so much of the above to think about and meditate on. I like that penitence is interior looking for an external sign. So, being Anglican, “all may, some should, none most”. The importance is the conversion of the heart – the wholehearted turning to Jesus.

I have created a PDF for the Common Worship “The Reconciliation of a Penitent” which I think should work for Anglicans. I like that the Common Worship order has an Act of Contrition which is not there in other orders. (Happy to be corrected!)

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