Why Is Repentance so Bitter?

 

This living faith in the existence of life after death has inspired numerous martyrs in the first centuries of Christianity and has transformed death into joy, despite its terrible torments.

There was a saint who said the honey is sweet to the tongue, but if the tongue has any wounds it will feel pain instead of sweetness. This is also the case of repentance.

When we repent we turn entirely towards God, although we are filled with pain. In the beginning, this pain is bitter, because we bear in ourselves the wounds of the sin, but after they are sealed, repentance becomes sweet.

There was a saint who said the honey is sweet to the tongue, but if the tongue has any wounds it will feel pain instead of sweetness. This is also the case of repentance. When we see our own poverty, we lament because of it, while our lament turns into tears of love for our wonderful God.

(Translation from Archimandrite Zaharia Zaharou, Omul cel tainic al inimii, Editura Basilica, București, 2014, p. 138)