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Chapter 7

Forgiving Others

 

No one heals himself by wounding another.
—St. Ambrose

 

 

Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, was hurt by the “blindness” and sins of others.  “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matt. 26:38)  His best friends betrayed Him.  His enemies despised Him.  His own people rejected Him.  His countrymen crucified Him with the help of others.  If Jesus, who never sinned, forgave everyone who hurt Him, we who are sinners need to forgive everyone who has hurt us.  “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44)  God will help us if we ask Him to.  “Dear God, please forgive me for my sin of pride, anger and unforgiveness.  Please give me Your humility and meekness, Your love and forgiveness, in its place.  Bless ( name ) and be with ( him/her/them ), uphold and strengthen ( him/her/them ), and give to ( him/her/them ) all that You would give to me, even more, if it be Your will.  Amen.”  (This prayer may also be used as a remedy for envy or jealousy.  Just replace the first part with, “Dear God, please forgive my sin of envy, and give me Your true love and acceptance in its place.”)

It may take some time to forgive and heal, but God will help you directly and through others, too.  For Catholics, the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion will certainly help, but for deep wounds the only complete cure is the deeper spiritual life.  Along the way, the devil may try to stir up trouble by “pushing your buttons”— by bringing to mind real or imagined injuries, insults or indignities that make you angry, bitter, proud and condemning, in short, sad and mad.  As soon as you become aware of the evil spirit, reject him, “In the name of Jesus Christ, Begone Satan!” as in The Way of Christ.  Pray “The Four Step Prayer.”  Then, peacefully “leave the past to God’s infinite love, mercy and forgiveness, the future to His Divine Providence, and dwell with Him in the duty of the present moment.” (Abandonment to Divine Providence, J. P. de Caussade)

 

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