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Five Roads of Repentance.

Let me describe to you five ways of repentance; each is different, but all point toward heaven.

The first road is the acknowledgement of sins. If you acknowledge your sins to God, he will forgive you; and this act of acknowledgement will help you stop sinning. Let your conscience be your accuser at the Lord’s tribunal.

The second road of repentance is the forgetting of the wrongs of others. This requires you to control your temper and to forgive the sins that others have committed against you. If you forgive others, the Lord will forgive you.

The third road is prayer: not perfunctory routine prayer, but fervent, passionate prayer in which you lay yourself wholly before God.

The forth road is generosity, in which by acts of thoughtful love you make amends for the sins you have committed.

And the fifth road is humility, whereby you regard yourself as having no virtue, but only sins to offer to God; he will then take the burden of sin from your back.

At times it will be right to travel on one of these roads, at other times to travel by another. But ensure that every day you walk along at least one of them.

(On Living Simple – The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom, p. 62)