The Church has consistently echoed this word. The popes of our own day have been particularly noteworthy in this regard. In his address Paenitemini of 1966, Pope Paul VI said; "We can reach the kingdom of God only by repentance, that metanoia, or conversion, which involves a radical, internal change of the whole human person." Pope John Paul II reiterated the same thought in his September 8, 1986 general audience when he said: "The message of repentance forms the very heart of the Church's mission."
Ongoing repentance will move us right to the centre of God's kingdom. It will move us from goodness to holiness.
God is not satisfied with partial commitment. He is not satisfied with minimal standards. He is not content with those who simply observe the Commandments without striving to imitate his own total abandonment to the Father. He will not settle for anything less than a complete rejection of all that is alien to him, of all that separates us from the Father's love.
He wants us to give him full permission to come into our lives and change our direction, our priorities, our plans, our attitudes, our hearts, minds, and souls. He will, through the powerful action of the Holy Spirit, transform the lives of those who surrender to him and live by his word.
It is very much out of style to talk about sin in today's world. We hear very little about it. Yet, that is what Jesus came to save us from. Sin is our biggest problem, both as a human society and as individuals. If sin could be called off altogether, human ills would virtually evaporate.
But the sense of sin has largely disappeared. Pope Pius XII put it this way: "The sin of the century," he said, "is the loss of the sense of sin." (Message to the U.S. Catechetical Congress, October 26, 1946) St. John says: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. The truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)