“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” -Isaiah 57:15
As we read the above scripture from Isaiah, we heard God tell us that He dwells with those who have a humble and contrite spirit. But, what does it mean to have a contrite spirit?
Literally speaking, contrite is defined as feeling or expressing remorse or penitence; being affected by guilt. Does this mean that God wants us to be in a perpetual state of guilt? Not at all. God wants us all to feel the happiness and joy that following His law can provide us. We must first be willing and able to approach Him with a humble spirit, putting aside pride, and with a willingness and readiness to change our hearts and our minds according to His teachings and His will.
Having a contrite heart means recognizing our pride. It means being humble and teachable. It means that we are turning our hearts to God.
“Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offered himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” -2 Nephi 1:71-72 RAV, 2:6-7 OPV
It is through this process of continuously breaking down the ego and pride of our hearts, coming to God in contrition and humility, and being fully open to His spirit and guidance, that our hearts can be healed in His Love and we are able to draw nearer to Him.
“For, He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 47:3