It is Tuesday and the sun is alluding us again. I am seriously thinking of buying one of those “sun lights’ for the house. I need my vitamin “D.”
Today’s reflection is about forgiveness and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I think this may be one of my best blogs, so far. Please read and SHARE. I need more visitors to my blog site. Please advertise on your pages. Thanks, Dan.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
The noblest revenge is to forgive. (T. Fuller)
Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. (NAB Mt 18:21-22)
These two verses deal with the forgiveness that the disciples are to give to their fellow disciples, who sin against them. To the question Peter asks on how often forgiveness is to be granted, Jesus answers that it is to be given without limit. Jesus warns that his heavenly Father will give those who do not forgive the same treatment as was given to those that sinned against them. In reference to the number seventy-seven: these verses correspond exactly to the story found in Genesis 4:24. The verses allude to the limitless vengeance of Lamech in the Genesis text. In any case, what is demanded of the disciples, and of us, is limitless forgiveness.
The New American Bible references ‘forgiveness’ about 210 times; including the great Christian prayer – “the Our Father.” Even the Koran emphasizes forgiveness. From a portion of the “Lord’s Prayer” found at Matthew 6:12-15, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Found in the Koran, forgiveness is emphasized: “He who forgives, and is reconciled unto his enemy, shall receive his reward from God; for he loves not, the unjust doers.” Like all things in your life, forgiveness is a choice. By making the choice to grant unconditional forgiveness, you will have brought yourself one step closer to living a life of fulfillment, joy, and deep inner peace.
Hillary Clinton once said that in the Bible, it says the people asked Jesus how many times you should forgive; and Jesus said “70 times 7.” Hillary wanted all to know “that she was keeping a chart.” Life is not a scorecard. Saying I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness should be like a cancelled note: torn in two and burned up, so that it never can be shown again.
The deceptive reality is that our small every day actions, decisions and tasks make a huge difference. When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than any steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve and break that link, and get free.”
CONFESSION (The Sacrament of Reconciliation) is not only a sacrament of the Catholic Church; it is essential for our salvation. St. John Vianney once wrote, “My children, when we have a little stain on our souls, we must do like someone who has a beautiful crystal globe of which you takes great care. If the globe gets a little dusty, when we see the dust, we will pass a sponge over it; and there is the globe, bright and shining again.”
When was the last time you have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Do you remember that uplifting and clean feeling you got after making a good confession. Why do some not want to experience that sensation? Forgiveness is a great gift – a grace – from God.
“Lord, help me to remember that forgiveness is a key to fulfillment with you. Please allow and help my brothers and sisters to return to your great gift, the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Be with me as I ask for forgiveness from those I may have hurt, and to accept forgiveness from those that have hurt me. Finally Lord, please forgive me for any transgressions that I may have made against you. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #26:
As a concrete sign of communion and co- responsibility, the councils on various levels, in keeping with the constitutions, shall ask for suitable and well prepared religious for spiritual assistance. They should make this request to the superiors of the four religious Franciscan families, to whom the Secular Fraternity has been united for centuries. To promote fidelity to the charism as well as observance of the rule and to receive greater support in the life of the fraternity, the minister or president, with the consent of the council, should take care to ask for a regular pastoral visit by the competent religious superiors as well as for a fraternal visit from those of the higher fraternities, according to the norm of the constitutions.