Many things have gone on in my life since the last time I posted and I feel terrible for dropping the ball, but I’m sure you’ll all forgive me eventually…mainly because if we don’t forgive each other, that holds us back from becoming closer to God…In fact, today’s Gospel touched upon just that:
“…When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.” -Mk 11:11-26
Also (and if you’re getting tired of this, I’m sorry, but this is an amazing prayer and I pray it daily so…) the Our Father says this same thing:
“…Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
I mean, how can we ask God’s forgiveness if we cannot forgive? I’ll say this much: Forgiveness is HARD. I struggle with it so much. Those of you who know me know that I am loyal, loving, and a great listener. I love my friends and family so much, I listen to what they say, and I am loyal to a fault to them. This is what makes me so terrible at forgiveness. You see, I think I’m pretty decent at forgiving for minor things, overlooking my own hurt sometimes even, but my problem is when I take on the frustrations and anger of my close friends and family. You see, if you cross them, I become personally offended and cannot let it go, especially if the person happens to be one of the most loving and caring people I know. Betray my friends, and I find it extremely difficult to forgive you. This has been a struggle of mine for a long, long time. I attribute it to knowing too much, being overprotective of those around me, and my loyalty to my family and friends. Some of the time it also has to do with pride. I think that the best advice I have ever gotten from a priest (or the only advice that has ever stuck with me) was almost six years ago now when I was holding so much anger and frustrations towards someone who upset my best friend. The priest told me that I needed to let all of it go because it wasn’t even mine to be angry about (paraphrasing, obviously). This advice didn’t really sink in at the time…I remember trying to let it go, but also feeling proud at how loyal I was being to my friend, not realizing that that was only making it worse. Looking back, I can see how being unforgiving was making me more and more angry and leaving me open to other negative emotions. Luckily, I got the message soon enough and found it in me to forgive (but trust me, actual forgiveness took a whole lot longer), and I have been working on forgiveness since then.
Forgiveness is a daily battle for me, especially since I tend to keep my emotions bottled up and not talk about how I feel (I know, ironic for a CHS major…). The easiest way to get past this is to find an impartial source (AKA God…and often times writing it down helps, because I can always delete it when I can’t actually “untell” a person something) and let it all out so that by the time it’s out, I’m over it and I can forgive more easily.
Now, different people forgive in different ways, but I hope you can all understand that I struggle with it and if you are struggling, you’re not the only one. Feel free to post your methods for forgiveness because I’ll take all the help I can get!
So forgiveness brings us closer to God, for it allows Him to forgive us. I just want to point out here, that the only way we’re getting to Heaven is by being on His good side. He knows we are going to do and say stupid things that we are going to seek forgiveness for. Our job is to keep these things to a minimum and live by the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you’d have done to you) so that the Lord can reflect our behaviors back on us.
On a completely separate note, there are a few things I’d like to ask you all to pray for: (1) that we can all be loving and forgiving sisters and brothers in Christ, (2) my parish’s Young Adult Ministry Kick-Off tomorrow (we’ve been working hard on it), and (3) a service retreat I was accepted to go on at the end of this month 🙂
Hopefully tomorrow I will have much to say about the Kick-Off! Until then, God Bless!!
With Love, Zoey Nova ❤