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.

Find A Way!!

The Purpose of Me

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I need to be.

How often, if not always, do we think and dream of what we want to be and accomplish in life? Those thoughts, in many cases, reflect our age, where we are trying to go and how fast we want to get there. What standard of life are we trying to attain? Obligations to meet, children to raise and care for, opportunities, college… and the list goes on endlessly. What needs do I have and what path, job, and skill sets do I have to master? What do I need to do to pull all of this off?

All good things. Great goals, and the satisfaction that comes with all that, is what I need and all I’ll ever want. And yes, lest we forget, what sacrifices do I need to make for all of that, for me? Time away from loved ones, missed games and recitals, loneliness, missing the important things in life like family time together and teaching and leading by example to those around me. The important things in life.

A tough balancing act!

So we fast forward 20, 30 or 40 years and what? What is that nagging feeling inside of me? I have all the money I’ll ever need and I have accomplished all I intended to do. Something is missing and how did I not see it? I feel like I lost something and never found it. This is exactly what I wanted to do! And I did “my way.”

I’m not saying the above path is wrong. It’s admirable to set lofty goals and go for them. But remember, this is your agenda and what you set out your purpose in life to be. But, is it God’s path for you? Is this how and what he has asked you to do? Maybe yes, maybe no. Or maybe a different version of what you have done.

Balance? Not “my way,” but maybe “Your Way Together.”

God is love, all forgiving, merciful and patient. Yes, patient. He has given all creation Free Will to do all that they want. But; could I have done what I did in life a little different? Could I have even done it without other’s help, including God’s? Would I of made different decisions if He was part of my life? Would I have had the strength to do more? Would I of found peace that I lost a long time ago? Would my life of been the same, but differ at the same time?

Only one way to find out. Maybe you can begin to pray like you did when you were a child. No? Well, can you just talk to God from your heart like He is your best friend? Can you act like a child again, and just say what you see and think, to Him? He will listen; but then it will be your turn to be quiet, still, patient and listen. And yes, you will know.

Yes, God is patient! Yes, He is loving and does care for me, and I am important to Him! Yes, I know I’ll be alright, and most importantly, He needs to be part of my life, and He is!

That is the purpose of my life!

Thank you God.

“Find a way.”