Dear Parishioners and Guests, 03/03/13
When authorities want to discourage drivers from speeding here in Winnipeg, they place a narrow piece of asphalt across the road. It is called a “speed bump”, and is meant to make us slow down. Allow these thoughts to be your church’s speed bump. On Feb. 18Th, we spiritually commenced the holy season of Great Lent. Let’s slow down and do some reflecting – especially on forgiveness…
We often mistakenly think that “forgiveness” is something we do for someone else; yet in reality, it is a gift that we give to ourselves. Forgiving someone means being willing to overlook the wrong and the pain that has been committed against you, and then wisely moving on with your life. Indubitably, part of you will strongly resist, saying: “What? Forgive them? Did you see what they did to me? I will never forgive!”
But you must forgive! “Not forgiving” keeps you in an eternal struggle. Whereas, the willingness to forgive can bring a sense of peace and well being. It effectively lifts anxiety and liberates you from depression. It enhances your low
self-esteem and gives you much needed hope.
Whether you committed a sin or someone else committed it against you is
not so important. If you are obsessing about it, YOU are the one who must act to change! Who cares who started it! What is more urgent who will end it. This is not
to say that there is no such thing as right or wrong. Certainly, there are such things as aggression, dishonesty and faithlessness. But if you are not willing to move on from
the wrong done to you, this could be more painful for you than the original “hurt”.
Please do not foster a grudge for long periods of time. And for God’s sake and yours, do not be angry for weeks or months. Perhaps you were the wounded innocent. The fault may be completely theirs. Yet you are the one who is a prisoner within.
We are not only called to forgive huge transgessions. There are 100’s of things
in our daily lives that also need our forgiveness. Forgive those who cut you off in traffic. Forgive the person who stole your parking space. Forgive the one who took
that last piece of cake that you had been waiting for. Forgive those who ignore you
and forgive those who gossip about you. Forgive the person who was late and made
you wait all afternoon. Forgive the person who laughed at you. And especially,
forgive yourself for the stupid and harmful things that you did and do to yourself!
Yes, forgive and forgive… and really listen to the words of your daily prayer: “Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It is so true, it is not always easy to forgive by one’s own strength- but then we are not alone! We have an ever-loving God to Whom we can turn for help. Remember how He looked upon His tormentors from the cross and forgave them. God does give us
the grace to do the same! We must sincerely pray for this great blessing!