Friday, July 22, 2005
Learning to Forgive

Forgiveness may be one of the hardest aspects of the Christian/Catholic life. Not only must we go to Confession to be forgiven our sins, but we must also forgive those that harm us. As Christ said, "Love thy enemies", but this radical gospel calling is still possible although to answer Christ's calling He must be the visible center of our faith and life.

Forgiveness is something that came from the Cross, where Christ died the death for sins and in doing so redeemed everyone of us. However, we must still repent for our sins, confess them, and forgive others. The road to Heaven is far from easy. Jesus made Heaven possible; He didn't open the door for the unrepentant. At this time, I must also reiterate the value of indulgences.

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned," but "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him" (Romans 5:12, John 3:17). Remember, "His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 118:4).

6 steps into forgiveness:

1) We can spend a few minutes every day looking at a cross and considering that Jesus gave up his very life to win forgiveness for us.

2) We can pray constantly to be filled with his perspective of love. Looking at others with eyes of mercy goes a long way toward undercutting the tendency to revenge.

3) We can pray and intercede for those who have wronged, offended, abused, or hurt us. Doing this frees us to love as God loves. God's grace has power not only to change us but also those who have done us injury as well.

4) We can try to perform at least one act of kindness toward someone who has hurt us or who rubs us the wrong way.

5) We can ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate within us an attitude of forgiveness.

6) We can get more serious about following the promptings of the Holy Spirit — especially those that touch on relationships we find difficult. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the way to peace, restoration, and reconciliation.

(Source: Catholic Exchange)

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown

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