Thursday, August 30, 2012

To Forgive - 3

 When the soul is suffocated 
by hatred for a brother or neighbor,
the sweet melody of forgiveness 
invites all to rejoice in God's love.
For = on behalf of/Give = surrender
      It is no accident that the same interpersonal conflicts arise repeatedly in life. Our Heavenly Father allows multiple opportunities to practice forgiveness. Who can count the number of times the same is needed from Him? The roots of feelings about the actions of one's neighbor or brother run deep. These roots are so thick they become mangled. Choking roots prevent the waters of our Lord's graces from reaching the heart. Emotions become fragile and brittle. Finally, a blow to the ego splinters the spirit into lifeless fragments. Instead of embracing the ever present love of Jesus, the arms of the spirit collapse. The soul is uprooted and disconnected from our Lord's flowing streams of spiritual refreshment. Stagnation and rotting in a self designed pool of bitterness ensue. 
     To choose not to forgive, is to reject our Almighty Father. To reject our Heavenly Father is to offend Him. This is sin. What a shameful loss it is to reject the spiritual nourishment of His unconditional love!
     The Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation is the miraculous gift of Jesus Christ's healing forgiveness. All thanks to the Almighty for the holy priests who obediently and prayerfully listen, advise and bless the penitent with Christ's sacrament of mercy, compassion and grace.
     Faithfulness in performing penance is an act of loving submission to our Lord. It is a holy gift to experience true sorrow for how deeply sin pains our Eternal Father's heart. Perhaps the heartbreak the soul feels at the offense of another is a minute sample of our Almighty Creator's heartbreak when His children sin against Him!
     Penance heightens the awareness of how to "avoid the near occasions of sin". It also prevents the soul from blindly falling into the trap of "casting pearls to swine". Choosing to be a doormat is neither holy nor humble. Truly charitable Christian behavior can be learned by studying the The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Works of Mercy.
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
      Praying the Stations of the cross is a profoundly humbling act of gratitude for the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus surrendered to His Father's Will on behalf of all. Those who choose to follow Him will receive His salvation. He willingly accepted psychological and physical humiliation and torture for the sins of every soul. He was not even guilty!
     As Jesus suffered and died, he mercifully gazed upon the pitiful sinfulness of humanity. How is it possible for me not to forgive my neighbor or brother while gazing upon their reflection in the eyes of Jesus as He carries His Holy Cross?
1) Jesus is condemned to death
2) Jesus takes up His cross
3) Jesus falls the first time
4) Jesus greets His afflicted Mother
5) Simon helps Jesus to carry His cross
6) Veronica offers her veil to the Holy Face of Jesus
7) Jesus falls the second time
8) Jesus comforts the weeping women of Jerusalem
9) Jesus falls the third time
10) Jesus is stripped of His garments
11) Jesus is nailed to the cross
12) Jesus dies on the cross
13) Jesus is taken down from the cross
14) Jesus is laid in the tomb

Praises be to Jesus forever!
May the Holy Spirit of our Lord assist me, as, on behalf of the salvation of my soul and the soul of my neighbor, I surrender to our Eternal Father's Holy Will.
May my every motive, thought, word and action glorify our Almighty Father.
May I imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary as I heartily strive to obey our Savior Jesus Christ.

En Los Corazones de Jesús y María