In the 5th Sunday of Lent while we wait the arrival of Palm Sunday, let’s talk about the gift of forgiveness. This week’s reflection in Ascend challenges us to forgive someone we may have been struggling to forgive, we are reminded that when we forgive someone, it doesn’t always mean we need to speak to the person, or repair the relationship. It may mean we need to start to forgive them internally.
In 2016 I began to focus on internal forgiveness. There are people who have made my life difficult and more burdensome. Some are no longer on this earth and some I truly do not want to have contact with, but to grow as a person, I realize I have to internally forgive. Pope Francis has called on each of us in this Year of Mercy. As part of this year, it is my hope and dream to walk through the four Holy Doors of Mercy at the Vatican (in a perfect world, it would have been before or after the canonization of my name sake, Blessed Mother Teresa.)
Internal forgiveness is so freeing, just envision “Let it Go” from Frozen! In reality you can’t truly forgive someone else until you have forgiven yourself. This to me is harder than forgiving someone else. A mentor of my Spiritual journey said to me, “the burden your heart is carrying; the anger that you are creating inside yourself; it’s not worth it, just forgive them and move on.”
There you have it… I went to confession, prayed to Christ about it and told the Lord I was ready, but I needed the graces and strength. I have a specific cloud of anger that has come and gone for the last 10 years. I decided I didn’t want it to define me anymore. I feel so free just for saying that I have forgiven them. It does not mean that I won’t have the scar, hurt, or bouts of anger, it just means that it’s in the past, they’re forgiven, and I am made stronger through the graces that reign from heaven.
This week I challenge you to keep the stone in your pocket, the stone that you might want to cast at a sinner, or someone whom you feel has hurt you. Seek out the joy in your life. Casting a stone may give you instant satisfaction, but it is not lasting. The true joy is when you abide with our Heavenly Father.