“Correctly understood, repentance is not negative but positive. It means not self-pity or remorse but conversion, the re-centering of our whole life upon the Trinity. It is to look not backward with regret but forward with hope – not downwards at our own shortcomings but upwards at God’s love. It is to see, not what we have failed to be, but what by divine grace we can now become; and it is to act upon what we see. To repent is to open our eyes to the light.
“In this sense, repentance is not just a single act, at initial step, but a continuing state, an attitude of heart and will that needs to be ceaselessly renewed up to the end of life.”
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, in The Orthodox Way