Love and Forgiveness

We are all called by God to live a just life following the Laws of God, and I believe the most important, can be summed up in Love and Forgiveness. The laws of The Commandments; “Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not kill… speak of what not to do, and yes, we need to obey. However, they “don’t move us to love more; they just keep us from failing to love.

True love overtakes us and leads us to do more than we ever thought possible of ourselves. We can develop patience, forgiveness and kindness over and over. It allows us to Forget, truly Forget grudges and past wrongs. What God is asking of us, is no more than he is doing for us and our failings.
What are some small ways we can move forward showing our love especially for our neighbors, or those strangers that cross our path every day for a reason? And how can we show it whether they see it or not?

It is a love with patience for someone who doesn’t get it or is incapable of understanding. It is understanding someone who has a different opinion or perspective than we do. It is that act of kindness like holding the door for someone and smiling at them. A few kind words to someone you pass by, as that maybe the only person they have in their life that day to talk too. A compliment to someone you don’t know to make their day, or just a simple thank you. A kind word of “Keep Smiling” that always evokes a surprise and a smile from them. Hopefully, you have made their day!
An easy scripture to remember that you can carry with you all day is ‘You shall love.” (Romans 13:9) Yes, I fail at times, as there are people I have tried to live with what I have noted above. But in a particular case, I have failed for years with a certain neighbor. But, I am still called to keep trying as these situations ring true to me: “Make us know the shortness of life/that we may gain wisdom of the heart.” (Ps. 90:12)

I recently participated in the Year of Mercy by attending the ceremonies and Mass for the relics of St. Maria Goretti. A very moving time and an overwhelming experience of forgiveness. Learning how to forgive and forget. Many miracles of recent times were shared with those in attendance, and in this special time, it was impossible for anyone to leave and not further embrace Love and Forgiveness.
I am noting some very powerful words that speak to Love below by Etty Hillesum:

“There is a passage in the Bible from which I always draw new strength. I think it goes something like: “He that loveth me, let him forsake his father and mother:” Last night I had to struggle again not to be overwhelmed by the pity I had for my parents, since it would paralyze me if I gave in to it. I know that we must not lose ourselves so completely in grief and concern for our families that we have little thought or love left for our neighbors. More and more I tend toward the idea that love for everyone who may cross my path, love for everyone made in God’s image, must rise above love for blood relatives. Please don’t misunderstand me. It may seem unnatural-and I see that it is still far too difficult for me to write about, though so simple to live.”

(Words by Etty Hillesum from Amsterdam, Holland and put to death in Auschwitz.)
And as the time ended with the ceremony for St. Maria Goretti, the Saint Child who shows us how to forgive, a speaker ended on this powerful and reflecting note. For those who pray the Our Father every day, and does not subscribe to forgiveness as we are asked, the speaker said: “I dare you pray for forgiveness; yes I dare you to pray for forgiveness.” As it goes in the Our Father, “give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespasses again us.”

So how do we ask God for forgiveness, when we are not willing to forgive. We will see.

Conor
Find A Way!!

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“As I have loved you, so you should also love one another.”

_John 13:34

Love

As one reads the bible and reflects on its passages, some more than others have huge impacts on our lives. Some speak to our heart and reflect the needed changes we need to make in our thinking and behavior. Others offer peace and direction, and the needed insight for our lives and beliefs. The above passage from John, speaks to what God has said about love, its importance in our lives, and the call to sharing it.

I have just finished reading “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander, M.D. He acquired bacterial meningitis in his brain, a bacteria known as E. coli, which has a 99+% fatality rate. Within 3 days, his brain shut down and he slipped into a coma, which lasted for 7 days. After a miraculous recovery, he faced a difficult road to full recovery and rehabilitation. During this time, he had the overwhelming drive to speak and write of the many things he had experienced. This is what he referred too as “Unpacking.”

Eben, highly educated and a neurosurgeon surgeon himself, found he could not explain what he saw and experienced. Words from this world could not begin to adequately explain the world of Heaven. One experience, more than all the others, was experiencing the Love from God and being in His presence. This is the most common and similar experience of all NDE experiences (Near Death Experience). For everyone who has returned, they talk of their encounters in heaven, their journey and what they saw, and the miraculous aspects of their tragedies; but the Love of God is indescribable. (Not only beyond words, but too wonderful for words.)

When we think of love today in our life, what comes to your mind? The love of God, family and children? Seeing the joy of good happening to others? Finding a lost friend or receiving a letter from one so important to you, or experiencing God’s overwhelming presence and love? Has it brought tears of joy and the feeling of love over you?

Today’s bible quote is all encompassing. It sums up all we have been asked to do, and what should guide our actions. It speaks loudly of God’s unconditional love for us, and the action we need to take. God is all understanding and all forgiving. We need to keep listening to God and remaning close Him.

“What lies before us and what lies behind us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Think of the gifts of love you have in your life and pass it on. A gift is not a gift until it is given to others.

“Find a way.”

_Conor

Love