If we "keep our cool" around those who have hurt us, we sometimes deceive ourselves into thinking we've forgiven them. If we pray for our enemies, we may think we have forgiven them, but prayer and forgiveness are not synonymous.
Forgiveness is more than self-control or prayer. Forgiveness is a decision to accept the Lord's grace to reach out to those who have hurt us, throw our arms around them, kiss them, give them presents, and have them over to dinner (Lk 15:20ff). Even if those who have hurt us are not open to such affection and generosity, forgiveness is a decision to show our love for those who have hurt us in whatever way they can accept it. Forgiveness is treating those who hurt us as God treats those who hurt Him. Forgiveness is divine. The old saying is true: "To err is human, to forgive is divine." Every act of true forgiveness is supernatural. True forgiveness is always a miracle.
We must receive this miracle from God as soon as we are hurt (Mt 5:25), or our lives will become torture (Mt 18:34). We must accept the miracle of forgiveness repeatedly, almost constantly, 70 x 7 times (Mt 18:22). As Jesus kept repeating from the cross, we must keep praying: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). Receive the miracle of forgiveness now and you will be forgiven by the Lord accordingly (Mt 6:12).
|PRAYER:||Father, show me those people whom I have deceived myself about having forgiven. May I forgive from my heart, by Your standards (Mt 18:35).|
|PROMISE:||"You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins." –Mi 7:19|
|PRAISE:||John, married with several children, and Roger, a single man, worked together. When John was laid off, Roger convinced his boss to lay him off and rehire John in his place.|
Reprinted with permission from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community. Their ministries include: