Elder Anthimos on Repentance Part 1
“Repentance”Repentance is the renewal of Baptism. For this reason, a person makes promises at Baptism, or a godparent promises for him, so also at repentance, once he admits his faults, he also promises not to commit them again. God’s infinite compassion gave us this Mystery of Repentance and canceling our wicked faults, so that we can be saved and can partake of unending blessedness. Our repentance cleanses us and makes us sinless again. It whitens the defiled robe of our soul and puts the robe of incorruption on us. It is a new covenant with God, and for this reason he says: ‘He*who is baptized and believes shall be saved, while he who disbelieves shall be condemned’ (Matt. 16:16). Then, he who transgresses in something and repents is cleansed from his filth, his faults are forgiven and he is saved.
There is no greater example than St Mary of Egypt (April 1). She transgressed greatly, her flesh became a vessel of pleasure, she led a multitude of pleasure-loving men to perdition, but with repentance she ascended the whole ladder of virtues. She surpassed in virtue even those Angels. While in the body, St Mary walked on the surface of the river Jordan like an incorporeal being. She reached measures of holiness, the Angels were afraid, the demons trembled, and people marveled and still marvel. For this reason we have her as an example of practical repentance. No matter how much we transgress, we repent and are justified with God’s grace. We offer repentance, God the grace. He renews us, He cleanses us, He saves us, according to His infinite mercy. This was also the purpose of His incarnation. He told it to us: ‘I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Matt. 8:13).”
– ‘Elder Anthimos of St Anne’s’