Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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Literally repentance or penance. The term is regularly used in the Greek New Testament, especially in the Gospels and the preaching of the Apostles. Repentance is shown by faith, baptism, confession of sins, and producing fruits worthy of penance. It means a change of heart from sin to the practice of virtue. As conversion, it is fundamental to the teaching of Christ, was the first thing demanded by Peter on Pentecost, and is considered essential to the pursuit of Christian perfection. (Etym. Greek metanoein, to change one's mind, repent, be converted, from meta- + noein, to perceive, thing, akin to Greek noos, nous, mind.)