Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you,
says the LORD of hosts.
But you say, How shall we return?
Read Chapter 3
Cyprian of Carthage
And while God is provoked with frequent and continual offenses, he softens his indignation, and in his patience waits for the day of retribution, once for all determined. And although he has revenge in his power, he prefers to keep patience for a long while. [He bears], that is to say, mercifully, and puts off, so that, if it might be possible, the longprotracted mischief may at some time be changed, and humanity, involved in the contagion of errors and crimes, may even though late be converted to God, as he himself warns and says, “I do not will the death of him that dies, so much as that he may return and live.” And again, “ ‘Return unto me,’ says the Lord.”
On account of its great intensity, this reflection is sometimes mingled with wonder. For the heart of those who see the Lord will rejoice. Seek the Lord, O sinners, and be strengthened in your thoughts because of hope. And seek his face through repentance at all times, and you will be sanctified by the holiness of his presence, and you will be purified of your iniquity. Hasten to the Lord, O sinners; he remits iniquity and removes sins. For he has sworn, “I have no pleasure in the death which the sinner dies,” so that the sinner may repent and live. “I have spread out my hands all day toward a quarrelsome and disobedient people.” And “Why would you want to die, O house of Jacob?” “Turn to me, and I will turn to you.”