Love and Forgiveness

This is a new report about what Pope Francis told the pilgrims at St. Peter’s last Sunday:
Forgiving our sins is “the joy of God,” Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican yesterday to pray the Angelus with him and hear his Sunday Angelus address. “What is the joy of God? It is to forgive!,” the Holy Father exclaimed, declaring the truth of God’s rich and infinite mercy to be “the whole Gospel, it is all of Christianity!” The Pope said, “forgiveness is not a sentiment – it is not ‘feeling good’ – on the contrary, mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the cancer that is sin, bad morality or bad spirituality.”

Love is the great commandment that Christ gave us: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” To love others who love me is easy. To do good to those who do good to me is a pleasure and the natural thing to do. But to love those who have hurt me, I must first forgive. Otherwise, the rancor in my heart will prevent me from actively willing what is good for them, much less go the extra step and actually do good to them. Christ taught us that love and forgiveness go together. Prayers and sacrifices will do us no good if we have not made peace with and have forgiven those who have hurt us. And as he hang dying on the cross, He only had words of forgiveness for those who have brought Him all that pain and suffering.

I must also be humble to be able to acknowledge that I have hurt others and caused them pain and sufferings. I pray for the humility to acknowledge my shortcomings and the courage to ask for forgiveness from those I have wronged. There are times when the best way to say “I love you” is to say “I am sorry” And when saying “I am sorry” is very difficult for me, I will start by saying “I love you.”

“Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’”
Luke 7:37-47

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