“When remorse calls to a man it is always late. The call to find the way again by seeking out God in the confession of sins is always at the eleventh hour. Whether you are young or old, whether you have sinned much or little, whether you have offended much or neglected much, the guilt makes this call come at the eleventh hour. The inner agitation of the heart understands what remorse insists upon, that the eleventh hour has come. For in the sense of time, the old man’s age is the eleventh hour; and the instant of death, the final moment in the eleventh hour. The indolent youth speaks of a long life that lies before him. The indolent old man hopes that his death is still a long way off. But repentance and remorse belong to the eternal in a man.”
Pulled from the opening of Søren Kierkegaard’s deep meditation on faith and motivation Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing (1847).
There’s more to it:
- ‘I’d read Plato, and listen to Sly Stone’: Cornel West’s testimony
- Kierkegaard distills the one fact at the root of life’s tragedies
- Probably my favorite paragraphs on the redemptive power of forgiveness