According to Greece, it is known as metanoia. The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, expresses this message in various forms and seasons. At the start of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, after greeting the people, the priest invites himself and the whole congregation to pause briefly for an examination of conscience. On what? Our communal and personal recognition of sin and humble invocation that God would have mercy on us and help us to undergo metanoia—conversion of life.
Ways By Which We Can Undergo A True Conversion Of Life
The following are ways that we can dive deep into our souls and strive for a sincere and deep conversion of life. However, we must always remember that true conversion of life is more of God’s work in our souls than our doing. We must collaborate with the grace of the Lord.
1. Eyes. Our eyes need constant vigilance and control. Unfortunately, the most powerful addiction in the United States is that of pornography. Children are exposed to this ravenous and merciless wolf at a very tender age. Studies show that pornography can be more powerful than addiction to drugs. A recovering gang member, drug-addict and alcoholic rejoiced that he was able to conquer all the above vices. However, he could not detach himself from addiction to pornography. Here are three suggestions that can help attain this conversion.
- At the crack of dawn or every morning before anything else, consecrate your whole being— especially the eyes—to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Second, when tempted invoke the Precious Blood of Jesus as a shield against the fiery darts of the devil.
- Lastly, visit the Blessed Sacrament exposed and contemplate the Eucharistic heart of Jesus. In the words of the Psalmist: “Look to the Lord and be radiant with joy.”
2. Memory. Our memory is in need of constant purification. St. Paul exhorts us to put on the mind of Christ. He says we have the mind of Christ. Be it the past wounds in our early years, addictions that enslaved abuses either physical, emotional, social or moral—all of these must be brought to the Lord for deep healing and conversion. Here is one short but powerful suggestion: Hold on to the Word of God! The Word of God is powerful. It is like a two-edged sword that separates bone from marrow. The daily reading of the Word of God in prayerful meditation can result in the conversion of the mind. One other step: memorize the Sacred Scripture! It does what chlorine does to a swimming pool (cleansing and purifying) the Word of God can do to the human mind. Lord, may your Word be a light for my path and a torch for my steps!
3. Tongue. Our tongue has to be controlled constantly. Saint James reminds us poignantly that we should be slow to speak and quick to listen. Jesus reminds us that every word that issues from our mouth will be subject to judgment. Also, the Lord tells us that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Here are three concrete suggestions to attain the conversion of our mouth, a transformation of our speech.
First, we should get in the habit of speaking more to God and less to people.
Second, we should learn to hold back our impulses and think before we speak.
Finally, apply the Golden Rule of Jesus to speech. Do to others what you would have them do to you; say to others what you would like them to say to you.
4. Intentions. Being honest with ourselves we must be humble to admit that our intentions are often mixed. Even in the best of actions some self-seeking, self-love and vanity are hidden. Sincere examination of conscience will highlight this truth. In the Diary of Saint Faustina, time and time again Jesus manifests His desire that she always has the purity of intention, that her actions be done to please Him and for the honor and glory of God. The Bible points out that man sees the appearance but God reads the heart. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus strictly warns us not to do our actions to be seen and praised by man. Remember this, Do your actions such that your right-hand does not even know what your left hand is doing. Your father who sees in secret will reward you.
In the motto of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Company of Jesus (the Jesuits), there are four letters: A.M.D.G. —Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam which means, for the greater glory of God. This should be the motivating principle that drives all of our actions in life. One concrete suggestion to obtain the conversion/metanoia of our intentions is, Give all to Jesus through the hands of Mary our Mother.
5. Heart. We all must go through a daily conversion of the very center of our being, which is our heart. Jesus says that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The human heart can contain within it the noblest of intentions, but the human heart can also embrace the most despicable of desires! Constant conversion of heart is necessary on a daily basis.