Monthly Letter

Fr James writes:

‘The Rector of St. James the Great is praying that our local church would experience ‘Metanoia’ . . .

Metanoia is a word filled with extraordinary meaning. This word is Greek, made up of two words: ‘meta’ and ‘nous’. ‘Meta’ “after” or “change”, nous the Greek for “mind”. This denotes ‘conversion’ and ‘reformation’, ‘after mind’ one has a ‘change of mind’, thinking one way, but afterwards thinking another. The New Testament call for metanoia is a command to change your mind and get it where it should be . . . in Christ!
This fundamental change in thinking leads to a fundamental change in behaviour and way of living as Christians. It has often been said Metanoia is the ‘sine qua non’ of the Christian life. You cannot be a Christian without it. It is a thing that is absolutely necessary. Metanoia is a spiritual paradigm shift, a spiritual revolution. People who encounter Jesus, in the Word and Sacraments of the Church realise they are personally invited to change as persons: metanoei!
God calls us each by name. He calls us by name, we are His, He has redeemed us, and we follow Our Lord. (Is. 43:1) A voice cries out”Repent (metanoeite) and believe (pisteuete) in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15, Matt. 4:17) This involves a spiritual paradigm shift, a spiritual revolution. This aspect of change and turning, of becoming new and different is necessary in order to live the Christian life, to become a Christian, a human being must change, not merely in one place or another, but unconditionally, down to the very bottom of their very being. This encounter of faith leads to two options. One: continue on our way unrepentant and unchanged. Two: Metanoia. There is no Tertium non datur – no third way. Either metanoia, or not.
If we decide for metanoia, we elect for a fundamental, interruptive change of our entire being, rotating towards the Lord, who will change who we are to become, and we gain an entirely new perception of God in our life, a new Christian reality, a new life in Christ and a new life in His Church! The person who encounters and decides to follow Jesus resolves to give the Lord Jesus their all! There is nothing to hold back, it is to be a people of total prayer, with commitment of faith that will establish a lifestyle pattern that includes a curriculum of Christ likeness in church. A curriculum of Christ likeness will come about when one experiences ‘Metanoia’, then one will delve the scriptures, pray, meet in fellowship to be taught the scriptures, receives communion and then be happy to be one of the ‘sent ones’ sent out into the world.
This Metanoia means a resolve to turn to Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength throughout our entire lives. The change in mentality (metanoia), required by the Gospel, means striving to assimilate the values of the Gospel, so that we as people can be a transforming presence in the world. The Christian metanoia, the Christian change has a strength that fortifies the soul, and enables a fidelity to the Lord. Such fidelity allows the fruit of the Holy Spirit to manifest and when that happens renewal and regeneration of faith becomes evident in the life of our local church, and then that wonderful product of metanoia that is so crisply voiced by St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians can be realised “I no longer live I, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)’
In the Cross of Christ – Father James McCluskey SSC