Forgive From Your Heart

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Sitting down to work things out with someone who has hurt you is a challenge. In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we hear the story of the slave whose master awards him patience and releases him from his debt. The same slave goes out and ignores the pleas for mercy of those owing him money and throws one into prison. The original master hears about this lack of compassion and calls the wicked slave to him and hands him over to be tortured until the entire debt is repaid.

This is far from a happy tale with a valuable lesson about how God desires us to forgive those who hurt us from our heart. I had an interesting encounter recently. I bumped into someone who I had not seen in years, maybe even a decade or more. As I was leaving where I was she was seated with her back towards me so I gently squeezed her shoulder to greet her. She was surprised. She had heard I was sick and had been praying for me. I caught her up on how I was and then she caught me off guard by asking me to forgive her. Puzzled, I asked her why. She mentioned that she had ignored me for a long time–something I had never noticed. She had been carrying around a heavy burden of anger and resentment for years. I asked her what I had done to trigger her behaviour. Apparently I had not called her when I said I would. I asked for her forgiveness. She said it was not necessary as she owned the whole issue. I told her I was glad she was free of the baggage she had been carrying around.

Our words can heal or hurt. Often we have no idea that we have wounded someone by our words or actions because that was never our intent. All I could think of as I drove away was the number of years that she had carried this around and I felt tremendously sad that I had initiated such a long-standing, heavy weight around her heart. I wished that we had sat down years ago to clear it up. I hope there are not too many other people out there who I have wounded by an act of omission. Lord, have mercy on and patience with me.

Peace,

Suzanne

Reflection Questions

Have you ever hung on to something that weighed you down? What would it take to release it?
When have you been called to forgive someone who has wronged you?

Prayer

Slave to my sins,
I need a Master who
is compassionate beyond my
narrow view to both
forgive and be forgiven.
Teach me, Lord, to
show mercy and love
whenever possible.

Amen.

About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
This entry was posted in #BibleStories, #CancerSurvivor, #prayer, Catholic, Christian, Faith, Ignatian, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Forgive From Your Heart

  1. Monica says:

    Wishing you the best Suzanne as you undergo chemo as extra precaution. Your posts have been giving me lots to reflect on. I like this one on forgiveness. Forgiveness can be such a challenge. You may have read or heard this quote which I love: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” (Mark Twain)

  2. sstyves says:

    I love that quote, Monica. Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad that my posts are touching people and are relatable. Thanks for following!

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