Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forgiveness. Show all posts

23 Apr 2017

Divine Mercy



I care about God's mercy because I'm a sinner. What that means depends on who says it.

I think and hope Jonathan Edwards meant well, and wish some of his imitators would be less enthusiastic. Or at least think about what he said.

Hollywood theology — I'd like to believe that many folks don't get their religious education from the movies, and that's another topic.

Basically, Americans have lots of options for what we think "sin" and "sinners" mean.

I'm a Catholic, so my view is 'none of the above.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

12 Apr 2017

Forgiveness: A Lenten Message


Who Do You Have to Forgive

truth is, we all have someone to forgive(1)," writes R. Scott Hurd, in the very beginning of his life-changing book Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach ("Forgiveness").

The following is Scott's list of people we may need to forgive; the comments in the parentheses are my two cents.

1. Rude drivers (very appropriate for those of us who live in Massachusetts)
2. Spouses (thank goodness for Sacramental Grace - that is all I have to say!)
3. Friends (they can hurt or betray us, or over time may become our "frenemies")
4. Bosses (those who steal our ideas, treat us unjustly, or are just plain grumpy)
5. Bullies (even as adults we can find ourselves faced with cruel people)

But Wait, There's More!

I would add:
1. Ourselves (often the hardest person to forgive)
2. God (It is okay to admit this, He will not send down lightning to smote you for being honest.
Furthermore, let's face it: He already knows you are angry. If He created your brain, don't you think He can also read it!?)

We cannot begin the healing process if we do not first acknowledge that we need to forgive, and then identify who that person is. I have encountered people at my retreats and presentations on forgiveness who admit they really can't think of anyone they are angry with. 

Read My Response HERE ...

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

3 Apr 2017

15 Mar 2017

Seeking Forgiveness Can Be Painful, But Worth It!


Seeking forgiveness can be painful for a few reasons:

  1. Facing the reality of the hurt you caused another requires you to look the person in the eye when seeking forgiveness. When you do so, you see the pain caused by your actions/words.
  2. Seeking forgiveness requires humility. Many times our pride stands in the way of embracing humility. It is painful to humble ourselves and admit wrong-doing.
  3. When seeking forgiveness, we are beholden to another to graciously grant our request. We face the possibility of rejection, and that can be painful.

Seeking Forgiveness from Others


Over the course of my lifetime, I have found it much easier to forgive another, than to... Read more...

17 Oct 2016

Pride Will Infiltrate Your Soul; Chiseling Required to Uproot


We conclude with the seventh installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Pride: the root of all evil!

Pride will infiltrate your soul, leaving no room for anything else. It will drive your thoughts and actions, if you let it. You don’t even know what is happening to you at the time. Unbeknownst to me, that is exactly what happened to me! Only upon reflection, and with a true dose of honesty, can one start the process of moving from prideful to humble. Here is my story:

When I was a child,... Read more...

10 Oct 2016

Greed Will Debilitate You; Fear is Behind All Greed


We continue with the fifth installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Greed.

Greed, also known as avarice, will debilitate you because you’re dealing with a bottomless pit; an abyss. The unending desire for more money, power or fame, leaves a person feeling empty, insecure and unfulfilled no matter how much one tries to garner. There is no amount of money that guarantees security, for the fear of losing it all is ever-present. No amount of power garners confidence and self-assuredness, for the fear of losing control is ever-present. No amount of fame makes one feel like he/she “has arrived,” for the fear of being discounted and dismissed never goes away. Anyone who seeks more money, power or fame, for the purpose of filling a void, fights a losing battle. Read more...

11 Sep 2016

Love, Mercy, and 9/11

Airliners were flown into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon 15 years ago today, killing nearly 3,000 folks whose chief offense had been living in an American city and going to work Tuesday morning.

The 19 immediately responsible died with their victims. They were waging Osama bin Laden's religious war against the United States.

Osama bin Laden is dead now, and so are a great many others: perpetrators and victims; Christians, Muslims, and folks who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of that, about 1,800,000 folks were stopped last year, while trying to get into Europe. Some may have had ulterior motives; but most were trying to stay alive, fleeing because their former homes had become a war zone.

It's the biggest problem of that sort Europe's had since the 1940s. Quite a few folks are upset: partly because most of the refugees hadn't had opportunities to fill out all their paperwork before entering Europe.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Jul 2016

Saint Maria Goretti: Her Influence on Me

I noticed a profound difference in myself since venerating the relics of Saint Maria Goretti last October (2015). Her relics visited my parish in Charlotte, NC as part of a national tour. As part of the veneration process, I took the time to learn more about this saint, of whose Feast Day we celebrate today. She is the saint associated with the virtues of forgiveness and mercy.

As a result of my visit with her relics, Saint Maria Goretti left a lasting impact on me. Since last October, I seem to more easily identify my sins of omission; for example, when I fail to put God first in my life; or when I fail to... Read more... 

18 Jun 2016

Forgiveness

DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH FORGIVENESS?
HAS SOMEONE HURT YOU REALLY BADLY?
AND THE MEMORY LINGERS ON?
HAVE YOU TRULY FORGIVEN THEM? REALLY?

1 Jun 2016

Forgiveness & Mercy -- NOT an Overnight Success


Lying on his deathbed, Jane de Chantal’s husband forgave his cousin who had accidentally shot him while hunting. His young, devoted, heart-broken widow—now a single mother of four young children—was not as fast to reconcile. Jane approached forgiveness with great contemplation. A woman of deep faith, Jane knew that this task would not only take God’s grace to accomplish but would also require time.

At first, she could only greet the man on the street—slowly progressing to inviting him to their home. Jane eventually reached such peace in her relationship with this man that she became the godmother of one of his children.

Forgiveness is a process. Sometimes a very long, arduous one but with God's grace it is possible to forgive even in the most difficult of circumstances. As St. Jane experienced herself...
READ MORE

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
*First appeared in 7 Qualities of Mercy -- Light Along the Way.

6 Apr 2016

Seek the Lord and HIS Ways


Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.   Isaiah 55

 The women’s hand was not even completely in the air before the question came bursting forth, and the tears welled in her eyes.  “How can we let go of wanting to hear we are forgiven, when we’ve begged for it, but the other person is not willing to extend it. As a human person, I want to hear those words not from God but from the other person.” My heart truly ached as I heard in her voice the depth of her pain and her desperation for an answer.

3 Apr 2016

Hoping for and Needing Mercy


(From John Martin, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)

I care about God's mercy because I'm a sinner, which doesn't mean what you may think.

First, a quick review of what I don't believe is true. (March 15, 2015)

I'm not "some loathsome insect," and neither are you:
"...every unconverted Man properly belongs to Hell...."

"...The God that holds you over the Pit of Hell, much as one holds a Spider, or some loathsome Insect, over the Fire, abhors you...."

"...you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God...."
("Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," pp. 6, 9, 15, 18; Jonathan Edwards (July 8, 1741) (via Digital Commons@University of Nebraska-Lincoln))
Samuel Clemens apparently had a well-defined attitude regarding "converted" folks, and I can't say that I blame him....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Dec 2015

Mercy!

The Year of Mercy/Jubilee of Mercy started on Tuesday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.1

In my home parish, it's also when we started receiving the Eucharist under both forms: our Lord's body and blood.

If you think that's sounds gory and repulsive, you're not alone. Following our Lord has involved public relations issues from day one ...

...We'll be using Latin for parts of Mass during Advent, too: which is fine with me. I like Latin. I can even understand a little of the language. Mercifully, though, most of the Mass is in my native tongue.3 — Which brings me back to the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis, and getting a grip....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Dec 2015

SURPRISE!!!

Pope Francis described the Jubilee Year of Mercy back in April 2015 in his official document, Misericordiae Vultus. The final paragraph of that document knocks my socks off. Here's my favorite part:

“In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.”
— Misericordiae Vultus, ¶25


Let us allow God to surprise us!
Amen! I'm excited to journey intentionally through this Year of Mercy. On this December 8th morning, though, as we begin the jubilee, I am thinking less about what I plan on doing and more on what God can do. Truly, I am overwhelmed at what the Lord wants to offer us.

“From the heart of the Trinity, from the depths of the mystery of God, the great river of mercy wells up and overflows unceasingly. It is a spring that will never run dry, no matter how many people draw from it. Every time someone is in need, he or she can approach it, because the mercy of God never ends.”
— Misericordiae Vultus, ¶25
Imagine what God can do with this inexhaustible supply of mercy. Just imagine!Please join me at Praying with Grace to dream and pray about mercy.

28 Oct 2015

Forgiveness: St. Maria Goretti


Does Forgiveness Elude You?

Forgiveness is difficult for many of us; yet, not so for young St. Maria Goretti.  Maria died at age eleven, from mortal stab wounds caused by unwanted advances of a young man. Forgiveness for this young man was one of her last words uttered before dying. She not only forgave him, she openly prayed for him, while suffering from those stab wounds prior to her death.

How many of us would be so forgiving? How many of us pray for those who wish us harm or have hurt us physically, emotionally or spiritually? Read more...

21 Sep 2015

Reasons to Forgive Even When It Seems Impossible



As a Bible-loving Christian and practicing Catholic, I have many reasons to believe in the importance of forgiving others. But even if we put aside “theology”, I believe our common human experience gives us several reasons why we should all forgive people who offend us.

It’s quite possible that no offense was intended. Think for a moment about how many times you have unintentionally offended someone. Then think of how many times you have deliberately offended someone else just to hurt them. My guess is that the first number is significantly larger than the second. Now think of how many times you’ve been offended. Is it possible that you are upset about unintentional offenses? If so, why further the conflict instead of forgiving the person and moving on?
If you knew all your transgressor has been through, you would probably feel more pity than anger. When a person does lash out, deliberately intended to hurt another person, it usually means they themselves have been deeply hurt. This does not justify their behavior, but it can make it easier for us to understand their behavior and recognize that they are deeply in need of healing and holding a grudge against them doesn’t help. Anger begets anger and violence begets violence. Refusal to forgive perpetuates the harm done. The void created by one injury will never be filled with more emptiness. Forgiveness breaks a cycle of conflict, thereby at least opening the doors to future healing and reconciliation. Whether accepted or not, forgiveness sends the message that the other person has a dignity and is worth something. Many people desperately need to hear this message.

21 Jun 2015

Charleston Church Shooting: Emotions and Reason

A young man joined a Wednesday evening Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this week

After participating for about an hour, he killed nine of the folks there and left.

I'm angry, and sad, that nine lives were unjustifiably ended in that church: and am profoundly impressed at the calm shown by some of the victims' relatives.

In my considered opinion, what the young man did was wrong. I'll get back to why I think that's true: and what I'm doing about my anger and sorrow.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 May 2015

Got Hate? …Please RSVP Within Then


An invitation is here, along with vital words to share, from my newest of friends.
…Addressing a matter capable of affecting all components of health—that in body, and in mind, and (most importantly) in soul.
Way quote. An-Invite-We-Cant-RefuseII
How perfectly fitting, therefore, for The Way to Nourish for Life!
Words to truly live by

3 Apr 2015

"Father, Forgive Them..."

These three words, uttered by the Lord as he hung in agony on the cross, present one of the most challenging aspects of being a Christian. It is difficult for us to forgive - it is not natural and our whole selves bristle at the thought.  When hurts run deep, the idea of forgiveness seems to be an insurmountable obstacle. Our bodies tense up, anxiety and anger rise within us -...they hurt us.....they don't deserve our forgiveness....these are the thoughts that race through our minds.

Read more here....

'Then there eyes were opened . . .' Sunday Reflections, Third Sunday of Easter, Year A Supper at Emmaus (detail) 1606 , Ca...