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Thursday, August 12, 2010

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St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Ezekiel 12:1-12
Psalm 78:56-59, 61-62
Matthew 18:21—19:1

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"to forgive is divine"

"Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Matthew 18:34-35

If we do not extend to others the forgiveness the Lord has given us, He promises we will be handed over to the torturers. When we refuse to forgive, we will be tortured by depression, fear, anger, self-hatred, compulsions, violence, anxiety, or suicidal tendencies. Many problems are forms of torture traceable to unforgiveness. The Lord is not being cruel to us in letting us undergo these tortures. Rather, He is merciful in giving us only a partial payment of the wages of our sins (Rm 6:23) so that we will repent before we ride the train of unforgiveness into eternal damnation.

Right now, let the Spirit help you recall how the heavenly Father forgave you such an awesome debt of sin. Then decide by Jesus' power to extend that forgiveness to everyone who has ever hurt you. Now picture yourself embracing those people you've forgiven as the Father embraced the prodigal son (Lk 15:20). Whether or not you feel it, the Lord has worked the miracle of forgiveness in you.

Prayer:  Father, forgive me and make me forgiving.

Promise:  "That is why the reign of God may be said to be like a king who decided to settle accounts with his officials." —Mt 18:23

Praise:  St. Jane Frances gave away her earthly goods because she had found Jesus, the greatest Good.

Reference:  (For related teachings, order our booklet, The Book on Forgiveness, and our leaflets, Unforgiveness is the Cause and Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, or our audio tapes on the leaflets: AV 41-1 on Unforgiveness or AV 106A-1, AV 106A-3, AV 106B-1 on Forgiveness.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010

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