Saturday, August 25, 2018
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25
Christ speaks of a correlation that is often overlooked, either by way of enthusiasm to offer cheap grace to people or for some reason of avoidance. That correlation is that to be forgiven one must first forgive. In the Lord’s Prayer it is phrased …”Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us.” Yet, most often we walk around presuming and assuming that surely God has forgiven us while still carrying a grudge, a vindictiveness, a sense of debt against someone else. Forgiveness does not operate in that way, at least Divine forgiveness … because “forgiveness” is not a one time thing but rather a way of life into which we enter.
To enter into the “state of forgiveness” is to live as a “forgiving soul now forgiven“.
Forgiveness is a way of life, a quality of spirit, a manner of grace. Forgiveness is doing the daily laundry, cleansing and washing that of the past that ought be washed away. The daily practice of forgiveness is to restore the linen to its pristine state. Forgiveness is reaching that point where one can hear the laughter of the linen as it dances in the wind and the sunshine.
It is a very human vulnerability, this reluctance to forgive. In so many cases, it even goes against what we take for common sense to forgive. It sometimes feels unjust and, so many times, unmerited. But if we are brooding a wound, an offense, a betrayal, a slight within us … then we are living outside the Realm of Forgiveness, not allowing the grace of God for which we yearn to be active in our own lives. It is a false presumption and a risky assumption to believe that God will forgive us while we do not forgive others.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz