“Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life…” (Lenten Prayer, sung at Byzantine Sunday matins)
“Repentance” (i.e. “metanoia,” a change of mind) is a transition, so it needs to be “entered,” like a door. While the “doors” of repentance are inside me, the power to open them, to open my heart, mind and body to the sometimes-scary prospect of change, is outside me, in the Giver of Life. So in the prayer quoted above, which we sing this weekend for the first time, and keep singing throughout Lent, we ask God to nudge us forward, toward the springtime of Lent.
Today let me let God open me up to the life-giving changes unfolding now, in the Lenten season. I need not be impatient or self-justifying in my “progress,” as the Pharisee was (Lk 18: 11-12), but rather open up to God’s life-giving mercy, as did the tax-collector (Lk 18: 13). Because it is God alone Who sees me as I am, and where I am, and it is His to “justify” my journey in His light, when I let Him be Who He is, the one source of Life and Justice.