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Showing posts with the label forgiveness

Forgiveness: Saint Maria Goretti

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On this Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, I thought it worth revisiting this post from 2015 because her story on the power of forgiveness is a lesson for us all. (Originally posted on Oct 28, 2015). Does Forgiveness Elude You? Forgiveness is difficult for many of us; yet, not so for young St. Maria Goretti.  Maria died at age eleven, from mortal stab wounds caused by unwanted advances of a young man. Yet, astonishingly, Maria’s last words evoked forgiveness for this young man. She not only forgave him, she openly prayed for him, while suffering from those stab wounds prior to her death. How many of us would be so forgiving? How many of us pray for those who wish us harm or have hurt us physically, emotionally or spiritually? I had the honor of venerating her relics at a special ceremony at my parish in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 24, 2015. What does it mean to venerate saintly relics? …those who have an affection to any person hold in honor all that was intimately connected with hi

When Unable to Forgive, Seek Mercy First

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Is there that certain someone in your life that you just can’t forgive? Do you believe their actions defy forgiveness? Or, is it that you just can’t bring yourself to the point where you can let go? If you can’t forgive, then seek Mercy first.  Mercy is the first step toward forgiveness. Ask God to give you what you need to grant mercy to the offender. Your Mercy is not forgiveness, but it is an attitude that causes you to react with kindness and compassion toward someone who offends you. Seek Mercy First God will grant mercy to each of us to the extent that we grant mercy to others; just as He will grant forgiveness to each of us to the extent that we forgive others. So, if you hold onto pain caused by an offense against you, and cannot grant mercy to the offender, then you will wallow in the pain. But, if you grant mercy to the offender, you rise above the pain. You free yourself from the shackles, thus enabling yourself to forgive others. Then Seek the Ability to Forgive

'The Church's mission is to offer the Word: a word that heals, liberates and reconciles.' Sunday Reflections, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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From   The Bible , a TV miniseries Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel  Luke 18:9-14 ( New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)     Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:  ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector.  The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector.  I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.”  But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other;

Forgiveness

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A High Standard

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Three folks on a streetcar in Utrecht, Netherlands, didn't get off. Not alive. Someone, maybe the man in that picture, killed them. He's been caught, apparently no more bodies have been found, and that's as much as I know so far. know for sure, anyway. This incident grabbed my attention, partly because it's been happening in the Netherlands: one of my wife's ancestral homelands. Instead of trying to focus on something else, I decided to share what I've been reading — and some odd speculation. (More at A Catholic Citizen in America )

Seeking and Giving Forgiveness

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Lent is a great time to not only seek God’s forgiveness, but to grant forgiveness to others, as well. When we seek God’s forgiveness, we make right our relationships with God. When we seek or give forgiveness to others, we make right our relationships with our neighbor. Seeking forgiveness from God seems much easier than seeking or giving forgiveness to others. Wouldn’t you agree? When we seek forgiveness from God, we know that He hears us and is quick to forgive. For that, we express gratitude. Yet, we humans tend not to be so quick to seek and give forgiveness when it come to our fellow men. Sometimes, we hold back from seeking forgiveness from others because we fear rejection. That seems understandable, as no one likes rejection. However, we may never know if we are forgiven unless we ask. Giving Forgiveness Now, what’s our excuse for withholding forgiveness? Is the hurt too deep? The offense too great? Hmm…Did God have any qualifiers on His forgiveness of you when you sou

World Day of Peace, 2019

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For two dozen centuries, at least, a few folks have said that peace is a good idea. Many others have agreed. Making peace a practical reality has remained an elusive goal. But I think we're closer to it than when Chu won the Battle of Bi, or Sparta lost the Battle of Leuctra. 1 I'm quite certain that finding an alternative to war is a good idea. No matter how long it takes us to get there. More at World Day of Peace, 2019 ; brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/world-day-peace/ . (More at A Catholic Citizen in America )

Forgiveness YES - Reconciliation NO

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Are you good at forgiving? On a scale of 1 to 10 how do you score? You may think you're good at forgiving; but is this so? Really? Are you sure? CHECK HERE

The Beatitudes: Jesus' Way Requires Virtue

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In today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace. The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way! To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplify   humility If you are one who mourns, you are   compassionate Meekness is obvious. Yet to be   meek , one requires great strength ( fortitude ). If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embody   justice Merciful is obvious, like meekness. However, to be   merciful,   to the extent necessary, one must be ready to also   forgive ... Read more... 

Trust and Mercy

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Divine Mercy Sunday: Acts 4:32 - 35 1 John 5:1 - 6 John 20:19 - 31 (April 8, 2018; this homily is from April 7, 2002) Divine Mercy Sunday, 2018 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas April 8, 2018 (originally April 7, 2002) 20 years ago we wanted to dedicate our community to the Mercy of God. The story of which is far too long to share with you this morning. But you need to know that we asked our Bishop Speltz to conduct the dedication but were told, 'no he can't come because of confirmations.. Just days before the dedication, he personally called and said that it was too important for him not to be here and so changed appointments to be with us. At one point he said, he saw this as a way to get the Sacred Heart enthroned in every home and saw this was a means to fulfill that because The Divine Mercy image fits perfectly with the Sacred Heart - as well it should. Now what does he do? Not only does he dedicate our community, but dedicates the whole Diocese to The Mercy of God: t

WHAT IS TRUE FORGIVENESS?

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Have you really forgiven? Are you sure? Really sure? CLICK HERE

Seeking God’s Forgiveness During Lent

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Lent is an excellent time for seeking God’s forgiveness, via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament, God cleanses us from our sins and reunites us to Christ. Although you may be apprehensive at the onset of disclosing your sins to priest, it is really Christ in whom you are confessing your sins, as the priest is acting in persona Christi , in the person of Christ. You will exit the Confessional filled with God’s graces of gratitude, humility, joy and peace. As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator for my parish, I work with people coming from other Christian faiths, (or no faith), who wish to consider becoming Catholic. One of the most common questions I get is “Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? Why can’t you just ask God directly for forgiveness?” To answer these questions, this video from Bustedhalo.com gives the best answers: Read more...

Bullying Has No Grace; But Forgiveness Does! Here's My Story

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I have a great deal of personal experience when it comes to bullying. You see, I was bullied for eight consecutive years, while attending a Catholic grade school. There were only 38 children in my class, so I was an easy target. Because of my physical deformity of clubbed feet, I wore braces on my legs. This set me apart from the others, making me the “outcast.” (The photo to the left was taken in 1962, at age 5). After what I experienced, it is amazing that I am still alive to tell my story today. Bullying Has No Grace The ugliness of the constant and consistent verbal abuse, demeaning my dignity and self-worth, proves to me that bullying has no grace. Bullying is an evil act. My bullies constantly referred to me as “metal legs,” “cootie bug,” – you get the picture. Their derisive behavior played havoc on my self-worth, leaving me changed, and not for the better. They scarred my psyche. The Lingering Effects of Bullying As I progressed through high school and college, I a

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

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Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis. What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek... Read more...  

Had I Really Forgiven the Bullies? Or Did I Have More Work to Do?

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Forgiveness can take seventy times just to get it right! I thought I had forgiven the bullies who verbally abused me in grade school, until one recent Sunday, when I heard the Gospel from Matthew where it states, Then Peter approaching Him asked, ‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times’? Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy times’ (Matt 18:21-22).   I realized that although I had forgiven the bullies, and therefore, hoped that they would be granted admission to heaven one day, I also thought that I wouldn’t mind if I never crossed paths with them in Heaven. This was because I was still holding tightly to the pain. Had I really forgiven the bullies fully, if I felt this way? I didn’t want to hold on to the pain any longer. That day, I gave the pain to Jesus – literally! After receiving Communion, I went back to my seat to kneel and give thanks. As I closed my eyes, I saw... Read more...

"Raving Politics"

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Quite a few parts of the Bible don't talk about forgiveness. But quite a few do, and they're not just in the New Testament. This morning's second reading doesn't mention forgiveness directly, but the verse right after it does. They all say why forgiving is a good idea. It's enlightened self-interest, in the long run.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Prayer before a Meal, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade[ Web Galle ry For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20). Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel Matthew 18:15-20 ( NRSV, CatholicEdition ) Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek - Book Review

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I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking , by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, is hot-tempered. Hakon and Aerling are competitive, and do not wish to rule jointly, as their fathers successfully did. However, before that can happen, circumstances come to pass that make Hakon vow revenge. From this point, early within the book, the story becomes mesmerizing. What will Hakon do to get revenge? How will Aerling respond? And what role will Magnus play, given that Magnus becomes the protagonist of this nov

Respecting Everyone

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Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue. Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need. First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

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Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?   While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more!