From:                              40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge <mail@flocknote.com>

Sent:                               Friday, February 26, 2021 7:01 AM

To:                                   Karen Benson

Subject:                          Day 10: February 26, 2021

 

Feb. 26th  Friday of the First Week of Lent  Link to Daily Readings ; Ez 18:21-28 Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8 Ez 18:31 Mt 5:20-26 Resource Links:  Introduction to 40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge Fasting and Prayer...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 26th 

Friday of the First Week of Lent 

 

Link to Daily Readings;

Ez 18:21-28

Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

Ez 18:31

Mt 5:20-26

 

 

PRESENCE OF GOD – Out of the depths of my misery, I cry out to you oh Lord.  Teach me the way of forgiveness.

 

If you, O LORD, should mark our guilt, LORD, who can stand? But with you is found forgiveness, for this we revere you.  (Ps 130: 3-4)

 

Go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Mt 5:24-25)

 

The spiritual life is not about rules, it’s about relationship.  You can almost hear Jesus saying this in our gospel reading today, when he points out different laws; You have heard it said… but I say….  He is making the point that all of the Law can be summed up in Love.  And that the more we can forget our anger and forgive one another; the deeper will be our capacity to love and to be in right relationship with God and our brother.

Everyone says that forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive. Not my word but CS Lewis’. Forgiveness is one of those things that makes Christianity so difficult to practice. When we are hurt, angry, in pain, forgiveness is the very last thing that we want to do. What we want is justice, reparation, revenge. Yet our Lord tells us no. No, you must forgive, and not only forgive once, but every time you have been wronged. We can’t worship rightly with anger in our heart.  We must leave that gift and reconcile with our brother.  Why? Why must I?  We demand of God. I am the one who has been wronged, I am the one hurting, why should I forgive the person that caused me this pain? Because it is all about love.  God never meant for us to live with anger. He wants us to live healthy and happy lives. I have come to give life and give it abundantly. And we can’t live life to its fullest when we are full of anger and resentment. Ultimately forgiveness is the necessary first step in sacrificial love-agape love. The decision to forgive puts one on the long road to love, because forgiveness is not a one-time decision, it is a process. A decision made over and over again every day.  Jane Frances de Chantal was the wife of a French Baron. She loved her husband deeply and the two of them practiced charity both in the home and in their community. One day her husband and a friend of his went hunting. There was an accident and her husband was killed. Before he died, he told his friend, don’t commit the sin of hating yourself when you have done nothing wrong." Jane could not have that kind of forgiveness, though she knew she should. So, she practiced it, first by just saying hello to the man as they passed by in the street and eventually, she got to the point of inviting him into her home, and ultimately was god mother to his child. The point is that forgiveness does not come naturally to us, and we must practice it.  Every day.  All day.   First start with our families.   The Catechism says the family is a school of forgiveness.  We can start there and work our way to others.

 

COLLOQUY

Oh Lord.  You know how hard it is for me to find forgiveness in my heart to those who have done me wrong.  I demand justice from you not mercy.  Yet when faced with my own shortcomings I ask you for mercy even though I am not willing to give it myself.  Help me to cultivate a forgiving heart.  Help me to be like you where from the cross you were able to cry out to the Father, not for justice but forgiveness for those who had crucified you.   Father, forgive them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent by Deacon Joe Mills

 

 

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