CONVERSION DOES US GOOD
The call to conversion almost always evokes in us the remembrance of the demanding effort that’s part of all work of renovation and purification. However Jesus’ words: «Repent and believe in the gospel» invite us to discover conversion as a step toward a life that is fuller and more rewarding.
Jesus’ gospel comes to us saying something that we must never forget: «It’s good to be converted. It does us good. It allows us to experience a new way of living, one that’s healthier and happier. It prepares us to enter into God’s project of building a more human world». Some may ask themselves: but how to live out that experience? What steps to take?
The first step is to stop. Not be afraid of staying alone with ourselves in order to ask ourselves the important questions about life: who am I? what am I doing with my life? is this the only thing I want out of life?
This encounter with myself demands sincerity. It’s important to not keep deceiving ourselves any longer. Seek the truth of what we are living. Don’t sell ourselves out by hiding what we are and by seeming to be what we aren’t. It’s easy to experience at that point emptiness and mediocrity. There appear before us actions and postures that are ruining our life. This isn’t what we want. Deep down we desire to live something better and more joyful.
To discover that we’re destroying our life doesn’t have to bury us in pessimism or hopelessness. Being conscious of sin is healthy. It gives us dignity and helps us to recover self-esteem. Not all is doom and gloom within us. Inside of each person always acts an energy that attracts and pushes us toward the good, love and kindness. It’s God, who wants a more dignified life for everyone.
Conversion will undoubtedly introduce concrete changes in our way of acting. But conversion doesn’t consist of those changes. Conversion itself is the change. To be converted is to change the heart, adopt a new posture in life, take a healthier route. It’s to collaborate in God’s project.
All of us, believers and those who struggle to believe, can make tracks we’ve avoided up till now. The fate of the believer is to be able to live this experience, opening self trustingly to God. A God who is interested in me more than I am in myself, not in order to solve my problems, but to solve «the problem», this mediocre and failed life of mine that seems to have no solution. A God who understands me, waits for me, forgives me and wants to see me live in a way that’s fuller, more joyful and more rewarding.
That’s why the believer lives his conversion calling on God with the words of the psalmist: «Have mercy on me, O God, in your faithful love, wash me clean from my guilt, purify me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart. Renew within me a resolute spirit. Give me back the joy of your salvation» (Sal 51 ).
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf