Metropolitan Onuphry: We need repentance because only the pure can enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Kiev, April 15, 2019

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Great Lent is a time of repentance in the Church; a time for us to renew our spiritual struggle and return to the basics of prayer, fasting, and repentance. His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine reminded his flock of the central place of repentance in the Orthodox spiritual life in his homily following the Akakthist to the Divine Passion of Christ on Sunday, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

And repentance is a gift from God that only those alive on earth can still enjoy, the canonical Ukrainian primate specified. While the prayers of the Church can benefit those who have reposed, the reposed themselves cannot offer any more repentance.

“The holy fast is a time for strengthening the fight against our sins, infirmities, weaknesses, and shortcomings. Through prayer and fasting, we lead ourselves away from the wide path of sin and place ourselves on the narrow path of virtue and pious living, which leads a man to salvation,” Met. Onuphry preached.

“And on this path, leading to eternal life, to God, man is supported by repentance,” he exhorted.

And the greater the power of our repentance, the Ukrainian primate reminded his flock, the further we move along this path and approach the spiritual perfection of Christ our God.

“For the sake of the infirmities of our flesh, God grants us the Sacrament of Repentance, in which we entreat God’s forgiveness for our transgressions, sins, and mistakes. And God forgives us, renews us, and we become pure and blameless,” Met. Onuphry said, reflecting upon the great grace that is present in the Church through its Sacraments.

His Beatitude also explained that the Kingdom of Heaven can contain only that which is pure, and, “Therefore, during his lifetime, a person should try through repentance to wash away the dirt and impurity that sin lays upon him.”

Met. Onuphry also emphasized that repentance consists not only of the correction of our lives through the avoidance of sins, but also the performance of the virtues opposite to our sins.

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