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Monday, September 3, 2012

To Forgive - 7

     Jesus has blessed us with so many beautiful examples of His sweet forgiveness: Saint Matthew, the woman at the well, the good thief, the woman caught in adultery, Saint Peter, Mary Magdalene...and all of us.
     Unwillingness to forgive is so tragic! 
     The unforgiving heart distorts the beautiful life God has sculpted, blurring the perception of His miracles born from each tragedy. In the unforgiving state of mind, it is too easy to forget how magnificent is God's love. The most self destructive evil of the unforgiving heart is vengeance. We are commanded by Jesus to return good for evil. Sincere prayers for the happiness and well being of our neighbor and brother have immeasurably miraculous results in the lives of both the forgiver and forgiven. On behalf of all sinners, Jesus surrendered His life to the will of is Heavenly Father. He wants us to do the same.
     It would be easy to embitter my soul with a refusal to forgive. Some of my life "plans" did not work out. However, the interpersonal, health and financial failures that our Almighty Father allowed in my life have been magnificent compost for the love filled, fabulous, colorful, delightful and musical garden that is my life today. 
For = on behalf of/ Give = surrender  
     What has been the result of surrendering to the Lord and accepting His will? In my life, acceptance of His perfect and holy will has resulted in the Lord blessing our little family with countless miracles that we never dreamed possible. So much good has been given to us by "Papa Dios", our dear Heavenly Father. If I wrote it all down, I would be overcome with rejoicing at the number of pages of happiness that are the story of our family.
     The Lord daily blesses our family. He has planted our "querida familia" in the midst of wonderful caring friends. We pray, work and enjoy many happy times together. His Holy Spirit guides and comforts us through every interpersonal, health and financial challenge. With every loss, He has caused new life to blossom. Prayerfully loving Jesus is the center of our family life. Everything else just flows from there. Although there have been some terrifying twists and turns, we are always assured of His love because:
The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing. 
He hath set me in a place of pasture. 
He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment.
He hath converted my soul. 
He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name's sake.
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. 
Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me. 
Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. 
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it! 
And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.(From Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible Psalm 22(23) )

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.


Previous Post~To Forgive 6 and First Post~To Forgive 1
En Los Corazones de Jesús y María 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To Forgive - 6

     Understanding what needs to be forgiven is important. Remaining safe is also important. However, prolonged rumination upon past offenses mystically disfigures the mind.
     Modeling the character according to Christ's beatitudes transforms the soul and rejuvenates the heart.    
For = on behalf of/ Give = surrender
      At some point, the continual recounting of life's betrayals becomes a flow of words that embitter the throat of the speaker and sting the ears of the listener. Mentally rummaging through the bottomless dumpster of past interpersonal conflict is exhausting. Recounting revives more pain with each telling. When I am old and sitting on my porch in my rocking chair, I don't want the stench of emotional sewage to overtake the fragrance of the multitude of sweet memories in my life. I have a right to edify my soul with beautiful recollections and spirit filled meditations. I am free to surround myself with loving friends, joyful conversation, music, art, and truly happy interactions. 
     Affection for and forgiveness of an emotionally compromised person does not always require being in their company. Recalling past offenses is often the mind's attempt to fortify a safe boundary.  Certain conversations, persons, places and events must, at times, be avoided lest they corrode the soul's joyous communion with Jesus. With the comfort and help of the Holy Spirit, and when emotional stability prevails, loving, caring interactions can take place. It is absolutely essential to lovingly pray to Jesus, asking Him to embrace all persons involved with his unconditional love and mercy. Jesus is always faithful and He loves all of His children.
     The most powerful act of forgiveness is prayer on behalf of those I forgive ~ sincere heartfelt prayers for their happiness and well being. The highest worship I can offer to our Almighty Heavenly Father is frequent worship of Him through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Fasting, under the direction of a holy priest, is another immensely potent spiritual offering, awakening the soul to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. What beautiful ways to surrender every circumstance to our Almighty Father! Though the evil one would not like for us to see the miraculous results of Mass, prayer and fasting, these loving actions, without fail, supernaturally impact each being involved in the process of forgiveness. The forgiver and forgiven are blessed beyond measure. I have experienced this many times in my life.
     A holy priest explained to me that this scriptural passage is a lovely pattern by which to model my character in all of my motives, thoughts, words and actions: 

     The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Chapter 5:1-12
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying:  
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.  
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake.  
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
(From the Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible)

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 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

To Forgive- 5

2 Corinthians 10:5 "And every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ."

       Unwillingness to forgive begins in the mind. Within the unforgiving mind, the offense of the neighbor or brother is replayed like a "broken record" over and over and over again. 
For = on behalf of/ Give = surrender
          Our Catholic tradition gives us a beautiful tool to help us grapple with wandering thoughts. Sacred Catholic art catches the eyes' attention and lifts the soul into the loving embrace of our Lord. Contemplation on this beautiful ancient painting, for example, helps us to imitate the holiness of Jesus. His sacrifice was on behalf of all of our Lord's children. He surrendered His life to the Will of our Heavenly Father, so that all who choose to follow Him may gain entry into Heaven.  The Gospel of John Chapter 17 reminds us that Jesus continually prays for us. This scriptural passage is well worth frequent meditation. When the senses and mind are filled with the Holy character of Jesus and the knowledge of His ceaseless intercession for us, there is no room for the bitterness that comes from an unwillingness to forgive.
     Forgiveness is a joyous spiritual discipline which takes a lifetime to master. Praises be to our Almighty Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the divine gift of unconditional love!


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