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did i forgive?
"My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Matthew 18:35
We Christians know that we must forgive or we will not be forgiven. Jesus even taught us to pray for this (Mt 6:12). Therefore, we Christians usually say that we have forgiven, for we know we have no acceptable alternative. Nonetheless, have we forgiven by God's standards? Have we forgiven from the heart?
If we have truly forgiven, we:
- should realize that forgiveness is a miracle of God's grace, for "to err is human; to forgive is divine,"
- are willing to reach out in love and mercy to honor and restore those who have sinned against us, as did the father of the prodigal son (Lk 15:20ff),
- will be messengers and ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19),
- will recognize the great benefits from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, for we are forgiven as we forgive,
- are willing to embrace those who have sinned against us (see Lk 15:20),
- have let the Lord heal and purify our "memory of hatred, rancor, the desire for revenge" (Pope John Paul II, Oct. 3, 1998, see also Pope John Paul II, Jan. 1, 1997), and
- remember not only others' sins against us but especially the miraculous grace in which we forgave each of those sins.
If there is any reasonable doubt about your forgiving others, go before Christ present in the tabernacle and say: "By the grace of Jesus Christ, I forgive (name) for (sin) . Repeat this statement until you are totally purified of unforgiveness.
Prayer: Father, I reject Satan's work of unforgiveness.
Promise: "And now we follow You with our whole heart, we fear You and we pray to You." —Dn 3:41
Praise: Maureen obeys the Holy Spirit by faithfully praying in front of an abortion clinic.
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