Metanoia and Metamorphosis

“But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!”
~ Luke 13:3

Change is the part of the natural flow of life. A year is measured by the changing of the seasons. Changes make life possible, as in the metamorphosis of an ungainly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Evolution has been been achieved by the mutation and transmutation of and within species over millions of years. To live is to be constantly changing.

These are all natural changes and they happen spontaneously or in response to stimuli. There is change possible only in humans. Change that happens because we will it or in response to grace. it is called metanoia.

The apostles, including Saint Paul, all experienced it. They heard the call of the Lord and they left everything and decided to follow him. It is the story of many holy men and women. Saint Francis, Saint Clare, Saint Ignatius. They were touched by God’s grace and their lives were totally changed.

I have heard his call and have tried to follow. It has not been easy but I remember my most inspired and inspiring moments have been in response to that call. There is still a lot in me that needs changing. I feel like a caterpillar ever struggling to get out of my cocoon. I did not have have a Damascus experience like Paul, nor a Pamplona incident like Ignatius. For me, it has been a daily struggle with the ordinary and mundane within which to work out my metamorphosis into what God has meant me to be.

You who are over us,
You who are one of us,
You who are also within us,
May all see you-in me also.
May I prepare the way for you,
May I thank you for all
that shall fall to my lot,
May I also not forget the needs of others.
Give me a pure heart that I may see you.
A humble heart that I may hear you,
A heart of love that I may serve you,
A heart of faith that I may abide in you.

– Dag HammarskjĂžld


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