Friday, November 12, 2010

RE Pent

Ever Wonder What it Means?

Catholics and other Christians particularly are familiar with the concept of repentance, or are we?

The word repent is defined as follows:
1. to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often fol. by of ): He repented after his thoughtless act.

2. to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better; be penitent.
But why not just pent?  Why RE?

Well, the origin of the word "repent" is the Latin word paenitere (to regret, be sorry), which morphed to the Middle English pentir (to feel sorrow), and the prefix "re".  "Re" comes from Latin, and is used to mean “again” or “again and again”.

So, from the original words, repent means to be sorry or regretful again and again.

So, repenting is feeling sorry each time that our conduct requires contrition, no matter how often, and no matter what new ways we find to conduct ourselves in ways that we know are wrong.


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