The tumult and the shouting dies; –
The captains and the kings depart. –
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, –
An humble and a contrite heart. –
When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms.
Like clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master. A broken heart and a contrite spirit are preconditions to repentance.
When we sin and desire forgiveness, a broken heart and a contrite spirit mean to experience godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
This comes when our desire to be cleansed from sin is so consuming that our hearts ache with sorrow and we yearn to feel at peace. Those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them, without resistance or resentment.
We cease doing things our way and learn to do them God’s way instead. In such a condition of submissiveness, the Atonement can take effect and true repentance can occur.
When we have received a forgiveness of sins, a broken heart serves as a divine shield against temptation.