Nov 20 - Homily: Sight for the Blind, Forgiveness for the Heart
Published on Nov 20, 2017
Fr. Terrance speaks of Jesus' healing of the blind man, and of the blessing of carrying our crosses as a means to attain heaven. One cross Our Lord doesn't want us to bear: unforgiveness.
To forgive another is a very difficult task and because of this fact, many people choose not to forgive. Unforgiveness is death to the soul and this death is reflected in the lives of those who are unforgiving. When we are unforgiving we store up hatred and revenge and this is what makes us unhappy, depressed, filled with anxiety, full of self-hatred, loneliness, hatred and unkindness towards others, the inability to love, and finally, we are unpleasant to be around. Once we forgive we will find that this weight is lifted from us. We are able to love--we are free!
(Q): How do we forgive if we are unable to forget the wrong that was committed against us?
(A): It is nearly impossible to speak the words "I forgive" and expect all the hurt and pain to vanish. The hurt and pain will remain until you are healed. One must be very careful not to let the hurt and pain stir up feelings of unforgiveness. Instead, one should be on constant guard to pray to God every time the hurt resurfaces and beg God to heal the memory and pain. Do not become discouraged with yourself when you want to forgive but feel as if you cannot. Just the fact that you want to forgive is pleasing to God. The rest will come in time with God's help and by our constant prayers asking for the grace to forgive. Healing a memory is much like healing a wound-it takes time. In Mt. 18:21, Jesus proclaims we should forgive "seventy times seven." Then in Mt. 18:23-34 Jesus states that God's kingdom is a matter of forgiveness and those who do not forgive are handed over to torturers. Jesus then teaches the apostles how to pray. He told them to pray that they be forgiven as they forgive (Mt 6:12). Jesus repeats: "If you forgive the faults of others, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours. If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you." (Mt 6:14-15) It is clear to see that Jesus insists on forgiveness.
(Q): Why do we refuse to forgive?
(A): Some people do not forgive because in their mind they believe they are getting even with the individual(s) who hurt them. By not forgiving, they feel that they are in control and now have the power to punish those who have hurt them. What they do not realize is that the unforgiving person suffers far more than the "enemy" does. If Jesus were not to forgive those who crucified him, would they have suffered from his unforgiveness? Of course not! Jesus' response to those who hurt him was: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
Find out below if you have forgiven those who have hurt you:
1. Are you able to pray for the person(s) who hurt you?
2. Do you still feel revenge toward the person(s) who hurt you?
3. Can you see the person(s) who hurt you in Heaven with you?
4. Do you forgive yourself?
5. Will you let God forgive you?
THE FORGIVENESS PRAYER
by Fr. Robert DeGrandis
Lord Jesus Christ, I ask today to forgive everyone in my life. I know that You will give me strength to forgive and I thank You that You love me more than I love myself and want my happiness more than I desire it for myself.
Lord Jesus, I want to be free from the feelings of resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness toward You for the times I thought You sent death, hardships, financial difficulties, punishments and sickness into our family.
Lord, I forgive myself for my sins, faults and failings. For all that is truly bad in myself or all that I think is bad, I do forgive myself. For any delvings in the occult; Ouija boards, horoscopes, seances, fortune telling, lucky charms, for taking Your name in vain, for not worshiping You, for hurting my parents, for getting drunk, for taking dope, for sins against my purity, for adultery, for abortion, for stealing, for lying. I am truly forgiving myself today. Thank you, Lord, for Your grace at this moment.
I truly forgive my mother. I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, resented me, was angry with me and for all the times she punished me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.
I forgive my father. I forgive him for any nonsupport, any lack of love, affection or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving me his companionship, for his drinking or arguing and fighting with my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for any running around, I do forgive him.
Lord, I extend forgiveness to my sisters and brothers. I forgive those who rejected me, lied about me, hated me, resented me, and competed for my parents' love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant in any way, I do forgive them.
Lord, I forgive my spouse for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention, communications, for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other acts or words that hurt or disturb me.
Jesus, I forgive my children for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support, warmth, understanding, their bad habits, falling away from the church and bad actions which disturb me.
My God, I forgive my in-laws, mother, father, son or daughter-in-law and other relatives by marriage. For their lack of love, words of criticism, thoughts, actions or omissions that injure and cause pain, I do forgive them.
Please help me to forgive my relatives, my grandmother and grandfather who may have interfered in our family, been possessive or my parents, who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against the other.
Jesus, help me to forgive my co-workers who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won't cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.
My neighbors need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run through my yard, not taking in their trashcans, being prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.
I now forgive my clergyman, my congregation and my church for all their lack of support, pettiness, bad sermons, lack of friendliness, not affirming me as they should, not providing me with inspiration, for not using me in a key position, for not inviting me to serve in a major capacity and for any other hurt they have inflicted. I do forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive all professional people who have hurt me in any way: doctors, lawyers, policemen, hospital workers, for the things that they did to me, I truly forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive my employer for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work, for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry or unfriendly, for not promoting me and for not complimenting me on my work.
Lord, I forgive my schoolteachers and instructors of the past, as well as the present. For those who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly, made fun of me, called me dumb or stupid, made me stay after school.
Lord, I forgive my friends who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me, were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not return it, gossiped about me.
Lord Jesus, I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for that one person in life who has hurt me the most. I ask to forgive anyone who I consider my greatest enemy; the one who is the hardest to forgive or the one who I said I would never forgive.
Thank You, Jesus, that I am free of the evil of unforgiveness. Let Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.