We often take certain actions that we are not satisfied with. When this happens, it can be said that we feel repentant and guilty. In the context of Christian faith, the act of repenting from bad behavior is known as an act of contrition.
This word is often misspelled, as its correct spelling is “contrition” and not “contriction”. This term comes from the Latin contritio, which means “pain for having sinned”. To mention a person who experiences contrition, the word contrite is used, which is equivalent to the terms afflicted, sorry, pitying and repentant.
Its meaning in the context of Christian faith
In Christianity, believers are considered sinners. In this sense, it is worth remembering one of the illustrious statements of Jesus of Nazareth: “Whoever is free from sin, let him cast the first stone”. The Christian must recognize his mistakes and sins, as they are the ones that offend God.
However, acknowledging them is not enough, but it must be accompanied by an act of sincere repentance, the act of contrition.
For the act of contrition to make sense it is necessary to fulfill certain requirements. First of all , the mistake or the sin committed must be accepted. Second, let there be a willingness to repent. Finally, that there is the purpose of not repeating the same deviant behavior, in this way, we speak of the purpose of amendment .
In short , it is an act of humility that is usually accompanied by a prayer for which God’s forgiveness is asked. With the request for forgiveness, the believer intends to find the grace of God. In other words, with contrition, a new spiritual connection between man and God is sought. For this reason, Christian theologians believe that the act of contrition is a rite of reconciliation.
In most cases, this rite takes place in the act of confession, as it is the moment when the faithful expose their sins and repent of them to obtain the priest’s forgiveness.
The act of contrition should not be confused with remorse.
We say we regret when we make a mistake and we are aware of it. However, remorse is not usually accompanied by the sincere regret associated with the act of contrition.
A contrite spirit is spoken of when there is not just deep remorse but a sincere desire not to make the same mistake.