Repentance – the Destruction of Hell

“Last Sunday, did you see war and victory: the devil’s war and Christ’s victory? Did you recognize how greatly repentance was being praised? And did you behold that Satan was not enduring the wound, but instead became afraid and horrified? O devil, what are you afraid of when repentance is being praised? Why do you wail? Why do you shudder with terror?

‘This repentance,’ he says, ‘snatched great vessels from me.’

Which ones did it grab? The harlot, the publican, the thief, the blasphemer.  

Truly repentance has seized many of his vessels and annihilated his very fortress, and he has been mortally wounded by repentance. You will learn of it, my beloved, as much as experience has previously revealed.

Therefore, why do we not take pleasure in these words, and why do we not go to Church every day in order to embrace repentance?

If you are a sinner, come to Church so you may not fall from righteousness, come to Church in order to tell your sins; and if you are righteous, come to Church so you may not fall from righteousness, because the Church is a harbor for both the sinner and the righteous. Are you a sinner? Do not become discouraged, and come to Church to put forward repentance. Have you sinned? Then tell God, ‘I have sinned.’”

(St. John Chrysostom, The Fathers of the Church: St. John Chrysostom on Repentance and Almsgiving, pg. 16)

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3 Responses to Repentance – the Destruction of Hell

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  3. Matushka Jan (Koczak) says:

    Thank you for these words from St. John Chrysostom, Fr. Ted! This text was new to me. (The style certainly brought to mind his sermon for Pascha!) I love his exhortation in the question, “why do we not go to Church every day in order to embrace repentance?”

    Have a blessed Great Lent!

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