May 31

“If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar and go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
From Matthew 5:20-26

There are three things in my past for which I have had difficulty forgiving myself, and there are three people in my life whom I have had difficulty forgiving. The truth is that these three lingering wrongdoings are minor in the grand scheme of things. The victims of my mediocre sins have told me that they have no recollection of these events. Yet, the guilt remains. Those who hurt me have no idea that they did so, and their subsequent behavior indicates that they feel nothing but good will toward me. Yet, when the memories surface, the hurt surfaces as well.

On this beautiful May day, it occurs to me that this is the perfect time to begin to work on my forgiveness of myself and of others. I am going to devote myself to repairing my relationships with those who hurt me. I am placing a small peice of paper with their names next to my keyboard. Every time I sit to write or to check email, I will think about a positive attribute of each of these people. I will also offer a prayer for each one of them. As I pray, I will ask God to allow me to see each one as God does and to love each one with God’s heart. You know, I already feel genuine compassion and affection for these fellow souls!

Forgiving God, how can I thank you for the many lessons Jesus shared regarding your forgiveness? The more I imitate your ways, the happier I become. Thank you for overlooking my sinfulness as I learn to do the same for those you have given me to love -and to forgive!

©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved