The mere renunciation of sins is not sufficient for the salvation of penitents, but fruits worthy of repentance are also required of them.
- Basil the Great
In the higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.
-John Henry Newman
A man cannot forgive up to four hundred and ninety times without forgiveness becoming a part of the habit structure of his being. Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Seven Penitential Psalms
David playing the harp in letter B, Unknown Miniaturist, French Bible, 1280-90
O God, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you; hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me; when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke, and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered, so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan; I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
My enemies revile me all day long, and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
David sends Uriah (dressed as knight) to the battle front, in a letter D, French Miniaturist, Hainburg Bible, 1300-20
For I have eaten ashes for bread and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow, and I wither like the grass.
But you, O God, endure for ever, and your Name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy; indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love its very rubble, and are moved to pity even for its dust.
The nations shall fear your Name, O God, and all the rulers of the earth your glory.
You, O God, will build up Zion, and your glory will appear.
You will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; and will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation, so that a people yet unborn may praise you, O God.
For you looked down from your holy place on high; from the heavens you beheld the earth;
David escapes through window, Petrus Comestor's Bible Historiale, 1372
That you might hear the groan of the captive and set free those condemned to die,
That they may declare in Zion your Name, O God, and your praise in Jerusalem,
When the peoples are gathered together, and the nations also, to serve you.
You have brought down my strength before my time; you have shortened the number of my days.
And I said, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days; your years endure throughout all generations.
In the beginning, O God, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They shall perish, but you will endure; they all shall wear out like a garment; as clothing you will change them, and they shall be changed,
But you are always the same, and your years will never end.
The children of your servants shall continue, and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.”