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Monday, March 8, 2004

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St. John of God

Daniel 9:4-10
Psalm 79
Luke 6:36-38

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forgiveness or terrorism?

"Pardon, and you shall be pardoned." —Luke 6:37

Many wise men and women throughout history have come to the logical conclusion that we must mercifully forgive those who have sinned against us. Without forgiveness, there is vengeance and the inevitable escalation of conflict to the point of destroying the weaker party in the conflict. Without forgiveness, the family and/or ethnic group of the vanquished party wait for years, even decades, to build up the strength or have the opportunity to retaliate. In effect, we forgive or we breed terrorism.

However, "to err is human, to forgive is divine." We humans don't have the power to forgive. We seem doomed to destroy each other as we make a world of terrorism. However, Jesus is our Savior. He not only commanded us to forgive but made it possible for us to share in the divine nature (see 2 Pt 1:4) and thereby have His power to forgive.

This Lent, we can begin to rid the world of terrorism by accepting God's power to forgive all those who have sinned against us, even our most bitter enemies. Jesus' saving death and resurrection and our Baptism into Him makes the miracle of forgiveness possible. When we renew our Baptisms on Easter, we stop unfolding tragedies and fermenting acts of violence. Live your Baptism of forgiveness in Jesus and stop the emerging terror.

Prayer:  Father, make me a peacemaker (Mt 5:9) in Jesus, my Peace (Eph 2:14).

Promise:  "I prayed to the Lord, my God, and confessed, 'Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, You Who keep Your merciful covenant toward those who love You and observe your commandments! We have sinned.' " —Dn 9:4-5

Praise:  St. John of God fought the terrors of his time by spending his energy unceasingly upon the sick patients that God sent to fill his house.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Unforgiveness is the Cause, our booklet, The Book on Forgiveness, or our audio tape AV 41-1.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003