Nevertheless, the time has not yet emptied into eternity. The Gospels and the Church never silence their preaching of repentance, and they call us to it. Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt. 4:17). With these words, Jesus Christ began to preach. It would follow that salvation of the soul and repentance are two truths that are unthinkable one without the other. Without repentance there is no salvation.
The first step towards a person’s repentance consists in turning his thoughts and desires toward the Kingdom of God proclaimed by the Gospels. In the course of this examination, his conscience and memory will show him his thoughts, feelings, desires, and deeds. It remains for him to work towards ordering his soul’s world, to replace evil thoughts and coarse intentions with good ones; replace corrupt, dark desires with good ones; replace wicked, cruel, and stubborn actions with the way of virtue, holiness, and purity. This is the beginning and requirement of repentance. Consequently, all of man’s efforts consist in one thing—ordering oneself in accordance with the demands of human dignity. Let us conquer narrow self-love, with love overcome egoism that corrupts the soul—these are the demands of true repentance.
From Great Lent, by Archpriest Valentin Amphiteatrov.