Tag Archives: forgiveness

Starting over

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The other [criminal said], “We have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:41-43

It is never too late to take responsibility for my actions, to turn to the Lord and ask for a chance to start again.

Listen

Resentment, fear, and the desire for retribution are heavy burdens. I would like to let them go, even though the pain of mistreatment goes deep.

Today I will hear and practice what the Lord asks of me: to love, bless, and pray for the people I consider my enemies and all those who have hurt me. Then may the burdens I carry be dissolved into the light of Love and Truth.

Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28

Richard Dadd (British, 1817 – 1886)
Mercy: David Spareth Saul’s Life
oil on canvas, 1854
Getty Center

Baptized into the community of love

We are called by our baptism to remember each member of our human family is beloved of God.

It is our lifework to offer compassion to the suffering, forgiveness to those who have hurt us, and comfort to those who are grieving and burdened with the stresses that arise in life.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1

Where love and harmony make family

Holy Family

A worldwide human family that reflects love and harmony…

…is only possible if I open my heart today and treat myself and all people with compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. It is only possible when I stop comparing myself to others and follow the Way of unconditional love.

Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13a

A peaceful solution

Refugee Children
Andy Wheatley, UK Department for International Development
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mark 9:37

When I am dismayed by the violence, finger-pointing, injustice, and anger that is prevalent in society, I look deep inside to uncover and let go of my own envy, arrogance, selfishness, and resentment.

To bring the fruit of peace, responsibility, compassion, and forgiveness to my interactions is my daily calling so that I may be a small part of the solution to what troubles our world.

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:16-18

Impediments

Meister von Müstair
Heilung des Taubstummen
fresco, ca.830
Müstair (Schweiz), Klosterkirche St. Johann

Sometimes I cannot hear the Lord’s call to love my neighbor, forgive those who hurt me, and befriend the poor. It’s not that I willfully oppose the Lord’s call, but that I am afflicted in the moment with anxiety, depression, physical pain, or other distracting states of mind and being.

May I forgive myself for my human imperfections and pray that the impediments that prevent me from hearing, speaking, and acting on the Good News of love and healing be removed.

[Jesus] said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:34-35

Family

Let us be the family of the Lord. Let us love one another. Let us pray for our enemies. Let us help the poor and the homeless, the refugees and immigrants. Let us comfort the lonely and grief-stricken. Let us welcome the rejected and abandoned. Let us show compassion to the suffering. Let us forgive those who have hurt us.

[… Jesus said,] “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:34b-35