Forgiveness

“To err is human; to forgive divine.”  –Alexander Pope

The hardest thing for people to do is to forgive. Everyone has a difficult time forgiving others. Sure, some things are easier than others, but we are called to reach out and forgive other for ALL things.

Almost two years ago on Divine Mercy Sunday, I heard a remarkable homily. It’s one of the few that have stuck with me. The key thing that really resonated with me was when Fr. Iweh said true forgiveness is when we are able to forgive as if the (whatever “it” is) never happened.  For us humans forgiving is hard enough, but can we truly forgive someone without holding grudges?

Before I go any further let me say this. I’m not saying that if someone were to hurt another that we should put ourselves or others in a situation where they too could possibly be hurt. For example – if someone is abusing someone else verbally, physically, and/or sexually we are not obligated to keep those people n out lives. BUT we are obligated to forgive and not hold any grudges against them.

This is no easy task, nor is it something that will be possible instantly. In some cases it might be years before we are able to give true forgiveness.

The key thing I think that many people forget is that when we forgive someone it does more for us than the person we are forgiving. Once we decide to let go of our hurt feelings and stop holding that drudge can we truly begin the healing process.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t go out of my way to hurt others. Yet, I know that I have. I hope that everyone I have inadvertently hurt has been able to forgive me and aren’t bearing any grudges or ill feelings towards me. Not because I want them to have nothing but rosy thoughts about me but because I know that holding that grudge and hurt feelings keeps the wounds open, festering, and at times ay even feel as if someone is pouring salt on the wounds. Holding onto the pain and hurt eats at us and can steal the joy from our lives.

Perhaps you have experienced a hurt that has cut so deep that you don’t know how you could ever forgive the offender. My suggestion to you would be to take it to prayer. Talk to God, tell Him what is going on, that you are tired of hurting but you don’t think you are capable of forgiving the wrong doer. Then ask Him to give you the grace needed to be able to forgive them.

 

Happy New Year!!

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I hope that everyone had a blessed Advent and Christmas. I did, but I’m so glad that it is over!!  The entire month of December was an emotional roller coaster for me. It included quick descents into sad, melancholy moods and very slow climbs into better moods which were quickly followed by near vertical descents all over again, with a few corkscrews thrown in.

Here’s a quick recap of December 2012…

1) Finished a MOPS craft that was nearly 4 years old.  Yay!!

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2) Printed, framed, and hung up our house rules.  Double Yay!!

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3) Hurt feelings between me and another friend….

4) The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that hit very close to home. No, I didn’t know anyone involved, but being a mum of two small children – one that is the same age as the victims, it was so easy to imagine that it could have just as easily have been my child or one of my friends’ children that day.

5) I found out that a guy I dated back in university who had a major influence on my life died several years ago. The strangest part of finding out about this was that he died on my husband’s birthday the year we married.

6) My maternal Grandmother died the next day. I love you Grandma and my hope is that you are in Heaven with our Heavenly Father praying for all of us who are still on this earthly plane.

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7) My Mum-in-law came to visit for a week.  This had its very good moments, but as when all family gets together it had it’s not so great moments as well.

8) Mike finally finished the shelf (stained, built, and hung) that he’s been talking about doing for the past 5 years.  Yay!!

9) I dedicated myself into holy slavery to Jesus.

And that’s a quick rehash of my wonderful December.  Amazingly, I kept my cool through it all and was able to find joy in everything that occurred.  Was I sad? Sure. But emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, etc) are fleeting feelings. Joy is eternal and comes from our faith in God. As Christians we are called to be people of joy and to be always hopeful, trusting God during every event in our life. Is it difficult to find joy in all things?  Absolutely! Whenever you are down, something tragic happens, and what not my advice is simple. Take it to prayer, and offer it up to God.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  –James 1:2-4

“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” –Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:4-7