Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
A Word of Hope
That Which is Easier
The cost of unforgiveness is anger. The cost of anger is bitterness. The cost of bitterness is hatred. The cost of hatred is division. The cost of division is war. And the cost of war is death. If you do not want to forgive, then ask yourself, “Do I prefer anger, bitterness, hatred, division, war, and death?” Nelson Mandela gave us the metaphor, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” In the end, your emotions can do the greatest damage and you become your own enemy. It is better then, to forgive…and live!
There is a Buddhist parable about two monks who took a vow never to touch women. The elder monk breaks his vow and carries a woman in need across a river. He forgave himself for breaking the vow when he decided to touch her and was able to help someone else because of it. The younger monk saw this and was upset at the elder monk for breaking his vow. When the younger monk questioned his elder about his actions, the elder monk replied, “I set her down hours ago by the side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?”
Emotions can be very heavy, and it is difficult to carry a burden for too long. Forgiving is hard, but not as hard as carrying a load for your entire journey.
Forgive others and forgive yourself because the alternative is even more painful than the offense that caused the pain in the beginning. To love is to forgive. It is not easy to love an enemy, but only love can change an enemy into a friend. Only love has the power to heal a broken heart. We love, not because it is convenient, but because everyone’s survival depends on it. Therefore forgive, love, and live.
Spirit of Love,
Liberate our hearts. Guide our thoughts. Forgiveness is hard when there is no desire for it, but we all crave a better world. We often ask for Your love not seeing that there was a reason why You gave us hearts. If we are to be Your hands and feet, then show us how to be Your heart as well. At some point, we all ask for forgiveness. Help us to give freely what has been freely given to us. Bless You Great One, for Your love is life itself. Amen.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare