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

11 Dec 2017

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness



Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis.

What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek...Read more... 

13 Nov 2017

Had I Really Forgiven the Bullies? Or Did I Have More Work to Do?


Forgiveness can take seventy times just to get it right! I thought I had forgiven the bullies who verbally abused me in grade school, until one recent Sunday, when I heard the Gospel from Matthew where it states,

Then Peter approaching Him asked, ‘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 times’ (Matt 18:21-22).
 
I realized that although I had forgiven the bullies, and therefore, hoped that they would be granted admission to heaven one day, I also thought that I wouldn’t mind if I never crossed paths with them in Heaven. This was because I was still holding tightly to the pain. Had I really forgiven the bullies fully, if I felt this way?

I didn’t want to hold on to the pain any longer. That day, I gave the pain to Jesus – literally! After receiving Communion, I went back to my seat to kneel and give thanks. As I closed my eyes, I saw...Read more...

17 Sep 2017

"Raving Politics"

Quite a few parts of the Bible don't talk about forgiveness. But quite a few do, and they're not just in the New Testament.

This morning's second reading doesn't mention forgiveness directly, but the verse right after it does.

They all say why forgiving is a good idea.

It's enlightened self-interest, in the long run....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Sep 2017

'Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A


Prayer before a Meal, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade[Web Gallery

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20).
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV, CatholicEdition)

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’


Today's gospel looks at forgiveness, mainly from the point of view of helping someone to acknowledge a wrongdoing and thereby asking for and receiving forgiveness. I often think about a Christian Brother who taught me in Dublin and one incident involving him that I witnessed and another I heard about years later. I'll simply copy from a previous post, with one or two slight changes.
Full post here.

26 Jul 2017

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek - Book Review


I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, is hot-tempered. Hakon and Aerling are competitive, and do not wish to rule jointly, as their fathers successfully did. However, before that can happen, circumstances come to pass that make Hakon vow revenge.

From this point, early within the book, the story becomes mesmerizing. What will Hakon do to get revenge? How will Aerling respond? And what role will Magnus play, given that Magnus becomes the protagonist of this novel?

Read more...

18 Jun 2017

Respecting Everyone



Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 May 2017

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean





Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

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.

My Affinity for Saint Lucy and My Battle with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy

Saint Lucy was born in 283 A.D. in Syracuse, Italy, what we refer to today as Sicily. Little is known about this Saint, except that she d...