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Dying and Rising: Metanoia

March 29, 2016

 

New Life

The only way we can enter into new life, our true life, is by dying and rising. This is the way to life that Jesus shows us: dying to the old self and to the old way of living, and rising to a new identity and a new way of life.

-Br. David Vryhof SSJE

 

There is a Greek word which I have mentioned here before...metanoia. In scripture, it is sometimes translated as "repent." But it means more than that. It really means changing your mind and going in a new direction. 

In psychology the word refers to the  process of experiencing a psychotic "breakdown" and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or "healing"

In writing, metanoia is a correction, a rhetorical device used to take back a statement just made and state it in a better way.

And in theology, metanoia has often been used to mean repentance, but that is called an "utter mis -translation" by biblical scholars. In biblical Greek, metanoia meant change of mind, a change in the trend and action of the whole inner nature, intellectual, affectional and moral, unlike the classical Greek translation of a superficial change of mind.

Enough linguistics...you get my point.

Metanoia means more than just saying I'm sorry, I'll do better. Metanoia is about dying and rising. It's about getting up out of the grave and going in a completely different direction, taking on a new identity, a new way of living. 

 

Repentance is to saying "I'm sorry" just as Metanoia is to Resurrection!

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