Great Lent will have begun by the time this appears (I will be in Robertson without easy internet access and so am setting it up now), but we have been singing “Open to me the doors of repentance,” for a few weeks now – okay, trying to sing it might be a better phrase for some of us! – and so I have had it going through my mind quite a bit recently. And yesterday it suddenly struck me that the gift of repentance is really something that we need to ask for, that the mystery of repentance is something I do not properly understand. It is more than simply a cerebral act of the will, or the saying of words, although both the will and words, and many other actions, are necessary. But it is also something more, and deeper, than that. Something that is beyond our power which we cannot manufacture, but need to ask for.

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