A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Forgiveness

By Barbara Linton

God gives us lessons from nature about our spiritual lives.

An irritating grain of sand made its way into the shell of the marine oyster and on to its protective mantle where it firmly attached itself.

The oyster was disturbed and resented the enemy’s threat to its wellbeing and life. If this stressed oyster did nothing about its current situation, it would become ill and possibly die.

Fortunately, the oyster’s God-given instinct for forgiveness took over. The oyster touched the irritating grain of sand gently and often until the sand became transformed into a beautiful pearl – the enemy now a friend. Peace reigns again for the oyster.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Like oysters, we too may experience enemies as we journey through life. Unlike oysters who act by instinct, we, with the gift of free will, can choose to forgive lest we inwardly harbour negative thoughts and feelings towards our enemy. Resentment, bitterness, unhappiness, ill-will, anger, hatred and vengeance can fester within us and can cause ill health within ourselves.

Forgiveness reconciles us with God, our Maker, with ourselves and with others, including our enemy. Our efforts in forgiveness can bring healing, love, joy, goodwill, friendship, peace, health and freedom, not only to ourselves, but also to our offender.

Our model for forgiveness is Christ, who was ridiculed, scorned, reviled, spat upon, severely scourged and nailed to a cross as a criminal. Yes! He forgave everyone.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you

Luke 6:27  


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