Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

“You need to think about your life calmly and ask for forgiveness”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/03/14 at 9:11 AM

You need to think about your life calmly and without scruples, to ask for forgiveness, and make a firm, definite and determined resolution to improve in one point and another, to improve in that particular small detail which you find hard, and in that other one which as a rule you do not carry out as you should, even though you well know you ought to be doing it. (The Forge, 115)

To be full of good desires is indeed a holy thing, and God praises it. But don’t leave it at that. You have to be a soul ‑‑a man, a woman ‑‑ who deals in realities. To carry out those good desires, you have to form clear and precise resolutions. And then, my child, you have to fight to put them into practice, with the grace of God. (The Forge, 116)

Take a good look at the way you behave. You will see that you are full of faults that harm you and perhaps also those around you. Remember, my child, that microbes may be no less a menace than wild beasts. Just as bacteria are cultivated in a laboratory, so you are cultivating those faults and those errors, with your lack of humility, with your lack of prayer, with your failure to fulfill your duty, with your lack of self‑knowledge. Those tiny germs then spread everywhere. You need to make a good examination of conscience every day. It will lead you to make definite resolutions to improve, because it will have made you really sorry for your shortcomings, omissions and sins. (The Forge, 481)


St. Augustine

In 13 History on 2012/02/03 at 9:11 AM

• A while back we celebrated the conversion of the infamous Saul to St. Paul while he was on the road to Damascus. That moment of grace that took place nearly 2000 years ago is perhaps the most famous conversion of all time.

• If St. Paul’s is the most famous conversion of all time, perhaps the second most famous conversion in our Church’s history is that of St. Augustine.

• St. Augustine was born in 354 in the north African city of Tagaste, which is located in modern day Algeria. While his father was a pagan, Augustine’s mother was the ever-patient and long-suffering St. Monica.

• As Augustine was a very bright student, his parents made sure he was well educated. Sadly, Augustine wasn’t drawn to the religion of his mother as a youth. Instead, he ascribed to various philosophies and Gnostic religion (Manichaeism) for guidance in how to live his life.

• Ultimately, Augustine’s moral life suffered – particularly in the area of chastity – and in his late teens he fathered a son out of wedlock.

• St. Augustine eventually left Africa, moved to Rome, and then to Milan, where he came under the influence of the brilliant St. Ambrose. It is under the tutelage of St. Ambrose that Augustine was converted to our Catholic faith at the age of 31.

• In his autobiographical Confessions, St. Augustine records that he was walking and praying in a garden one day when he heard the voice of a small child saying: “tolle et lege” – “take and read,” and so Augustine opened the Scriptures and began reading.

• By providence he happened to turn to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, chapter 13, and he read: “let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.”

• And it was at that moment that Augustine, knowing his sinful past, made up his mind to be converted, and soon after he and his son were baptized into our Catholic faith. God’s grace had finally won out, and Augustine went on to become perhaps the most influential theologian in Church history.

• Augustine had lived a life of youthful depravity, but our Lord never gave up on him. And God never gives up on us, no matter how sinful our lives may be. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done wrong in our lives; God’s grace and mercy are always available.

• This is a point that is made clear by our first reading. 2 Chronicles tells us that even though the Israelites practiced all sorts of abominations, the Lord had compassion on His people.

• While God allowed the Israelites to be overthrown and deported to Babylon by their enemies, He eventually delivered them from their captivity and returned them to their rightful land.

• This is because of all of God’s attributes, what stands out is His mercy. And it is of utmost importance that we remember that He is merciful, most especially in the face of our great sinfulness.

• Even when the Lord allows us to suffer for our sins, as he did with the Israelites, He still desires to take us back to Himself. God desires to save us, and He wants us for Himself.

•We also because God is rich in mercy! We rejoice because God desires to save us from our sins! This is exactly what we hear in the readings today.

• Today’s Gospel reading includes the famous verse John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that all who believe in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

• This verse is so important because it’s a summation of the entire Bible. Truly, this verse encapsulates in a nutshell the basic Truth that is conveyed by Sacred Scripture: that God loves us so much that He’ll go to any lengths to save us from our sins.

• And St. Paul teaches us today about the nature of our salvation. Namely, he tells us that salvation is a free gift from God, for we are saved by grace, and grace alone.

• St. Paul goes on to tell us that our works cannot save us. All the same, we cannot ignore doing good works. In fact, St. Paul tells us that as God’s handiwork, we have been created for good works. Good works are the sign of our faith.

• In fact, our cooperation and participation in the work of salvation through prayer and good works is really a matter of allowing God’s grace to take root and work within us. Prayer and good works are the fruits of our faith in God’s saving grace.

• But there is more to our salvation than simply cooperating with God’s grace through good works. Like St. Paul and St. Augustine, we actually must turn away from our sins and be converted!

• The 10 Commandments, which remind us that certain actions are incompatible with Christian living. Sadly, because of the original sin that we inherited from our first parents, we all struggle with concupiscence to some degree.

• Concupiscence is our desire to indulge our lower appetites. It is the yearning for sin that we all struggle with from time to time, and it is why we must constantly seek to turn away from sin. Moreover, in looking to God’s mercy, we must be wary of the sin of presumption.

• The Old Catholic Encyclopedia defines the sin of presumption as: “the condition of a soul which, because of a badly regulated reliance on God’s mercy and power, hopes for salvation without doing anything to deserve it, or for pardon of sins without repenting of them.”

• Presumption is a trick the devil uses to lull us into a false sense of security when it comes to the state of our souls. It is the attitude that entices us to go ahead and sin when faced with a temptation because we know of God’s mercy.

• However, if we are so quick to fall into sin, how truly sorry are we for our sins?

• The point, my friends, is that God is indeed merciful – even more merciful than we can imagine.

• Yet He cannot be fooled. If we are not truly sorry for our sins, we cannot hope to be forgiven of them. God never gives up on us, but we must be contrite if we wish to be forgiven. We have to turn toward God with integrity of heart if we want to be saved by Him!

• So as we make our way through the second half of the Lenten season, let us earnestly seek to be converted, as was St. Augustine. Let us turn toward God and live in the light, leaving behind whatever deeds of darkness we may have committed in the past.

• Let us trust that our Lord, in His great love for us, will bring us to eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Copyright 2009 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

Forgiving Love Mother Teresa

In 07 Observations on 2012/01/26 at 9:11 AM

The other day, a man, a journalist, asked me a strange question. He asked me, “Even you, do you have to go to confession?” I said, “Yes, I go to con­fession every week.” And he said, “Then God must be very demanding if you have to go to confession.”

And I said, “Your own child sometimes does some­thing wrong. What happens when your child comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I am sorry’? What do you do? You put both of your arms around your child and kiss him. Why? Because that’s your way of telling him that you love him. God does the same thing. He loves you tenderly.” Even when we sin or make a mistake, let’s allow that to help us grow closer to God. Let’s tell Him humbly, “I know I shouldn’t have done this, but even this failure I offer to you.”

If we have sinned or made a mistake, let us go to Him and say, ”I’ m sorry! I repent.” God is a forgiving Father. His mercy is greater than our sins. He will forgive us.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“The great Friend who never lets you down”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/12/06 at 11:09 PM
You seek the company of friends who, with their conversation and affection, with their friendship, make the exile of this world more bearable for you. There is nothing wrong with that, although friends sometimes let you down. But how is it you don’t frequent daily with greater intensity the company, the conversation, of the great Friend, who never lets you down? (The Way, 88)

Our life belongs to God. We are here to spend it in his service, concerning ourselves generously with souls, showing, through our words and our example, the extent of the Christian dedication that is expected of us.

Jesus expects us to nourish the desire to acquire this knowledge, so that he can repeat to us: “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink” [1]. And we answer: teach us to forget ourselves, so that we may concern ourselves with you and with all souls. In this way, our Lord will lead us forward with his grace, just as when we were learning to write. Do you remember that childish scrawl, guided by the teacher’s hand? And we will begin to taste the joy of showing our faith, which is yet another gift from God, and showing it with clear strokes of Christian conduct, in which all will be able to read the wonders of God.

He is our friend, the Friend: “I have called you friends” [2], he says. He calls us his friends; and he is the one who took the first step, because he loved us first. Still, he does not impose his love — he offers it. He shows it with the clearest possible sign: “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends” [3]. He was Lazarus’ friend. He wept for him when he saw him dead, and he raised him from the dead. If he sees us cold, unwilling, rigid perhaps with the stiffness of a dying interior life, his tears will be our life — ”I say to you, my friend, arise and walk” [4], leave that narrow life which is no life at all. (Christ is passing by, 93)

[1] John 7:37
[2] John 15:15: Vos autem dixi amicos
[3] John 15:13
[4] Cf John 11:43; Luke 5:24 [Top]

“Forgive everyone”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/08/30 at 8:53 AM
You will only be good if you know how to see the good points and the virtues of the others. That is why when you have to correct, you should do so with charity, at the opportune moment, without humiliating. And being ready yourself to learn and to improve in the very faults you are correcting. (The Forge, 455)

One of its first expressions is to initiate the soul into the ways of humility. When we sincerely see ourselves as nothing; when we understand that, without God’s help, the weakest and most puny of creatures would be better than we are; when we see we are capable of every kind of error and every kind of abomination; when we realize we are sinners, even though we are earnestly struggling to turn our back on our many infidelities, how could we possibly think badly of others? Or how could we harbour fanaticism, intolerance or haughtiness in our hearts?

Humility leads us as it were by the hand to treat our neighbour in the best way possible, that is, being understanding towards everyone, living at peace with everyone, forgiving everyone; never creating divisions or barriers; and behaving — always! — as instruments that foster unity. Not in vain is there in the depths of man’s being a strong longing for peace, for union with his fellow man, for a mutual respect for personal rights, so strong that it seeks to transform human relations into fraternity. This longing reflects something which is most deeply imprinted upon our human condition: since we are all children of God, our fraternity is not a cliché or an empty dream; it beckons as a goal which, though difficult, is really ours to achieve…

In prayer, with God’s grace, pride can be transformed into humility. Then, true joy wells up in our heart, even though we feel that the wings of our soul are still clogged with the mud, the clay of our wretchedness which is now beginning to dry out. If we practice mortification the mud will fall off, allowing us to soar very high, because the wind of God’s mercy will be blowing in our favour. (Friends of God, 233 and 249)