The past

Today we are commemorating Saint Anthony the Great.

One day a monk came to him and asked, “How can I save myself?”

To which the saint replied: “Do not worry about the past, do not rely on your righteousness, and restrain your tongue and belly.”

Of these three rules, I would especially like to pay attention to the first. Sometimes people carry on with anguish about a past that can’t be changed. This is not repentance.

Repentance is the renunciation of sin. One must confess sin, and one must draw conclusions from past mistakes for the future – but one should not be constantly digging into what has happened. That is a destructive condition that only takes a person’s attention and power away from what is happening now and what we really can change for the better.