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Forgiveness brings peace. Forgiveness is the only way. Follow Christ – Forgive!

Father forgive them. For they know not what they do (Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach)

The other day, during morning mass, just after I returned from receiving Holy Communion, my seven-year-old daughter turned to me and started to speak. I was just kneeling down and sorting through the usual distractions in my mind, and had just reached the point of asking myself what I should be focusing on now that God Himself was in my heart, when a little voice trilled in my ear.


I immediately tried to shush her, because her usual comments that she considers urgent are unnecessary, particularly in the Holy presence of the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.


But on that day, she would not be silenced. On that day, my little girl asked me, “Who should I pray for today, Mum?”


If I still believed in coincidences, I would have laughed this off and called it a coincidence. But just before she asked her question, I had felt a very strong urge to pray for certain souls. And so, instead of laughing, I quite seriously accepted this beautiful reminder from the Holy Spirit through the words of my MOSTLY innocent child and I asked her to pray with me for some people for whom I have been praying for some time.


We prayed for people who are dealing with significant change in their lives where vocations and life-journeys have taken unexpected detours. We prayed for those who have much to forgive and struggle to complete the action of forgiveness. We prayed for friends who have been sick and who are now recovering, or instead preparing for their final days. We prayed for those who grieve. And we prayed, as we always do, for the Lost Souls in Purgatory…


Afterwards, and during the course of my morning I contacted one beautiful friend for whom we had prayed and told her that she was in our prayers. She responded immediately to tell me that she had received great peace during Mass that day, as during her silent prayers she had forgiven some of the people who had wronged her…


Coincidentally, if you still believe in those things, this woman could not possibly have known that when I offered my days and my prayers for her – though I told her that I prayed for her strength and her peace – my offering was really for her to have the ability to forgive her trespassers.


After all, forgiveness is a paradox. When we are wronged, we feel so much like holding on to our anger and hurt because the evil one convinces us that holding that grudge will comfort us. I have done this often in my life. As a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend, it is not uncommon for me to experience hurt. That is part of our fallen human condition.


In the past, confounded by the evil one and seeking comfort for my wounds, I held onto that hurt. I thought about it, I reflected on it, I even shared it with others. The tears I have wept for those hurts could have filled an ocean.

But all of that changed in an instant, one day, and now the hurt is no more…

How? I hear you asking.


Surely if I could answer you this question, I could earn a billion dollars. Surely, the answer to this question is priceless. After all, what could we humans long for more than peace? Money cannot buy it, relationships cannot buy it, power cannot buy it, fame cannot buy it, studies cannot buy it, and yet peace is the one thing that we ultimately crave as human beings…


And yet the answer is simple. It is starring us in the face. And the answer is not mine, because I did not come up with this myself, someone far more clever and far more good than I not only came up with this answer, but demonstrated it for us…


So where did I get this answer that is so freely given, and yet worth all the money in the world?


Christ.


For while he was being hurt – even to the point of death – what did Christ do? Did He hold onto the hurt? Did He think about it, reflect on it, or share it with others?


No.


He PRAYED for those who hurt Him. He prayed for me. He prayed for you too…


And what was His prayer?


“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).


Forgive them… Forgive them… Forgive them…


Christ taught us the prayer - we have only to repeat it!


For only in forgiveness is there ever any peace at all…


For with forgiveness, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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