Tuesday, February 2, 2010


On Day 2 of my "Living My Catholic Life" notebook I have the following challenge: "Today in prayer ask God to forgive you for anything you have done to hurt someone else.. Try to focus on specific things. At the same time, think of someone who has hurt you and decide to forgive them. They may be too proud to tell you they are sorry but that doesn't mean you can't let go of that hurt through prayer. Sometimes being hurt can lead to holding grudges. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. Before you know it, years can go by and you can still be come angry just thinking about that person. Holding on to anger can be toxic and it excludes you from God's love."

We are so blessed as Christians to believe that no matter what we do, no matter who we hurt, no matter how grave our sins, that our Lord is an awesome, forgiving Lord. He loves us so much that all we have to do is ask for his forgiveness, and be truly sorry for our sin and we can be confident that he will listen and wipe the slate clean. As Catholics we are especially blessed to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation...a true grace from God.

What is most amazing about this incredible grace from God is that we don't really even deserve it. If God played fair and treated us the way we treat others, we would be in serious trouble. How can we expect God to forgive us if we hold on to anger, hate and grudges against others. We are continually faced with people in our lives who are not nice to us. Do we confront them? Do we talk about them behind their backs? (Gossip) Are we sarcastic with them? After all they deserve it right?

When my children come home and tell me about someone at school who has hurt their feelings, I try to help them through it by first asking them to pray for that child. I tell them that no matter what someone does to them, they are never to return the anger or meanness. And then I tell them to try their best to ignore it. And of course to always come and talk it out with me.

I wonder though, if I practice what I preach? I know that I try. But it is something I have to continually work on. When the offenders are close family, it is that much harder. There are times when I just want to write them off. Life would be SO much easier if I never had to see them again. And there is no way I'm going to help them with anything. Remember, they don't deserve it, right?

Well, like I said above, those feelings are toxic. When I truly let those feelings go; when I offer it up to God and deal with it through prayer, then I am more at peace and I can move on. This is not only what God wants, it is what he expects. It is what he demands. If I can't forgive others then I will never be able to be forgiven by Him.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie - I've been dealing w/a specific issue on forgiveness regarding a specific person and this is exactly what I needed! I pray for this person asking God to bless them and me too.
Our Lord tell us to forgive 70 x 7 - endless - as we too are forgiven.
Seize the blessings of this day. Julie B

Anonymous said...

Food for thought on this topic of forgiveness. Here is an article by Catholic Answers' Jimmy Akin titled "The Limits of Forgiveness." Interesting read. Kevin


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