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Saturday, March 10, 2001

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Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Matthew 5:43-48

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forgiveness is clearly impossible

"You have heard the commandment, 'You shall love your countryman but hate your enemy.' My command to you is: love your enemies." —Matthew 5:43-44

Alexander Pope captured in a few words a great Biblical insight when he wrote: "To err is human; to forgive divine." It is humanly impossible to forgive. Only God can forgive. This is obvious because the Lord commands us to forgive:

  • immediately (see Mt 5:25),
  • repeatedly, even 70 x 7 (Mt 18:22),
  • sacrificially by lavishing love and mercy on prodigals (see Lk 15:22ff),
  • even while we're in the process of being crucified (see Lk 23:34),
  • even if others don't apologize or even stop sinning against us (see Lk 23:34-35), and
  • our enemies (see Mt 5:44).

To forgive is obviously divine.

The Holy Trinity lives within us. He will give us the grace to forgive immediately everyone for every sin committed against us. He will give us the grace to forgive by His impossible standards. Therefore, make the following decision and say: "By the power of Jesus Christ, I decide to forgive   (name for    (sin)   . Fill in the blanks and repeat this statement until you have forgiven everyone for every sin.

Prayer:  Father, I reject Satan's works of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment.

Promise:  "Provided you keep all His commandments, He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations He has made, and you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God, as He promised." —Dt 26:18-19

Praise:  Linda examines her conscience nightly before going to sleep.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000