Thursday, January 5, 2012

To lay down your life

I was listening to this homily from the daily Mass on EWTN in the car while running errands today.  I didn't even get to hear the whole thing until I came home and replayed it.

The priest started off talking about love.  Then hate.  And how anger is often the manifestation of hate.  Then he said this quote from Saint JoseMaria Escriva that really hit me.

“Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offence that you can suffer from them is as nothing compared with what God has pardoned you”

Wow.  Then he goes on to say that when you get angry, it happens and that situation is gone and most of the pain or suffering is what you inflict on yourself.  But if you just forgive right away, even out of force, you are taking a part of the suffering of Christ. 

And that's when I realized that sometimes I let things fester, sometimes I let them go, but sometimes they fester.  The anger festers.  The anger that leads me to hate and the hate that is the opposite of love.  If God is love, then hate is the Devil.  So I am letting the Devil work in trying to destroy relationships and friendships.  Then I have a choice.  Do I want to let the Devil inch into my life because of my humanness to not be able to forgive right away?  No I don't.  How easy it would be to just love like God and forgive.  What a sacrifice sometimes to just forgive.  It would also be very humbling but very pleasing to God.  Jesus says to love is to lay down your life for your brother.  If I can't humbly forgive then I can't love.

I pondered this all day.  I thought about all the times I've been angry at my husband or my kids.  That is the Devil trying to inch into my life, trying to get me to hate and fester anger.  And just like that I would be down the wrong path.  I want to live in the light of Christ.  I want love to be there instead of anger because love never fails.


Lisa C said...

I like this. I'm good at forgiving when someone says sorry, but it's harder when they don't. But having hard feelings only robs us of happiness.

It also makes me think of that book I'm reading, Nonviolent Communication. Gandhi taught that violent thoughts (anything unkind) lead to violent actions. And violence isn't just physical but can be words and body language.

I also believe the reverse is true. If you act with love, you can develop kinder thoughts.

Cassie said...

I'm terrible at saying sorry when people aren't sorry. I want to get better at it.
I like that about gandhi, so peaceful. Usually it's ourselves creating problems internally, if we just let it go it could be better... at least that's what I need to do.