Forgiveness

Before coming to the Eucharistic table it’s required that we ask for forgiveness.  This is while seeking salvation from distress, enemies, bondage, adversaries, defeat, and social decay.  In confidence we approach our Pioneer of Salvation Jesus Christ as we confess our sins.  Many Christians wish to be saved from sins and death, and to be free of guilt, and estrangement.  Most of our problems are through ignorance, bondage, and vice.  Mother Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”  Prayers of forgiveness have implications, for they eventually release us from guilt.  They bring joy, and bless us with the happiness of being forgiven.  Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India wrote, “Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.  It is daily admission of one’s weakness.  It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  But some prominent individuals see prayer differently.  Their actions speak louder than words.

Gift of Life

People need prayer – this gift of life has meaning in our lives.  Why must we lead meaningless lives buffeted by the pressures of the world?  It’s wise to seek God’s presence, for he comes to us in every place and situation.  Let each moment be your ongoing experience of being with the living Christ.  So free yourselves from bondage and futility, and attain final reconciliation.  Be emancipated from evil and grow in the enrichment by Christ’s goodness.  Lou Holz (b. 1937), a former football player, and coach said, “Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential.  People gain strength through God’s word, and receive grace from the sacrament.  And we fumble due to sin – and it’s gonna happen – confession put us back on the field.”  It should be our desire to be in the game of life.  .

Power of the Holy Spirit

Christians delight when they experience the power of the Spirit.  This means liberation, joy, and a sign of our growing maturity.  By redemption they hope to achieve the prefect likeness of Christ.  This acceptance of God’s gift of immortality brings peace, courage, and hope.  Believers become dedicated to his service.  This self-fulfillment comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when our rebellious nature is subdued that has caused the sickness of souls.  With repentance this lifestyle begins to enthrone God in our hearts.  Like Mark Twain (1835–1910), an author and humorist wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  Eventually asking forgiveness will become like a second nature.  We learn to forgive others for we know this is the best way of handling life’s predictions.  This belief was expressed by Tyler Perry (b. 1969), an actor, and filmmaker when he said, “It’s not an easy journey to get to a place where you forgive people.  But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.”  Christian believers are reminded in the New Testament that before receiving the Holy Eucharist they must ask forgiveness of those they have wronged.  What a freeing gift this is in the Eucharistic Mass!

Marianne Williamson (b. 1952), a spiritual teacher and author wrote, “Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”  Why place such a heavy price of guilt on our shoulders?  Forgiveness though must beckon us to reach out even to our enemies.  That was why Laurence Sterne (1713–1768), an Anglo-Irish novelist and Anglican clergyman said, “Only the brave know how to forgive … a coward never forgives; it is not in his nature.”  Having courage is a blessing, and a true gift to have in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.

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