Repentance is necessary for salvation, and people who repent realize their empty lives and sinful state. Repentance comes from God and involves a genuine sorrow and an escape from sin. Sinners must accept the help Christ gives them to repent.
“Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
Christ died and rose again to deliver humanity from sin, though we can reject divine help. We cannot repent until we turn to Christ, because repentance is a gift from God. When we turn to God, he grants us repentance and forgives our sins in the sacrament of Penance.
Click on the following link to retrieve the article Penance.
The Holy Spirit is the agent in the new birth of change of attitude and submission to God.
“Jesus answered: In all truth tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. Nicodemus said, ‘How can anyone who is already old be born? Is it possible to go back into the womb again and be born?’ Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit; what is born of human nature is human; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows where it pleases; you can hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3-8)
“We are turbines and the Holy Spirit is the wind. It blows the turbine whenever and whatever the wind wants — the turbine is surrendered to the wind,” per the article Interaction with the Holy Spirit.
We need to have our hearts and minds renewed, with our consent, by the Holy Spirit. Conversion creates a new and deeper capacity for knowing God, because the Holy Spirit renews our minds developing new understandings and interests, including a new desire to know God, and a new attitude to a life change. Conversion is called the new birth — the beginning of spiritual life.
“I am quite confident that the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it until the Day of Jesus Christ comes.” (Philippians 1:6)