Two levels of conversion


It’s as if there are two levels of conversion, of this condition of conversion. There’s the external aspect by which we change certain things that we do, or we add certain things, like learning to meditate and making the periods of meditation regular parts of your life, or giving up smoking or giving up drinking, or cutting down on something that you’re doing too much of, wasting your time. So there are the external aspects, and in religious terms it’s sackcloth and ashes, tearing your garments. Going to confession is an external form of conversion. But then, *conversasio* is a fundamental change of perception, something of the heart, something interior rather than just external. And it’s this, of course, that the gospel and the prophets before Jesus emphasised. ‘What I want is mercy, not sacrifice,’ *Hosea says* (Hos 6:6).

(The Art of Waiting by Laurence Freeman OSB)

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