The Power of Forgiveness

http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/LAUER3.TXT

   UNFORGIVENESS IS THE CAUSE
		          by Father Al Lauer
	               Presentation Ministries

"Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you." --Colossians 3:13

When I was first ordained a priest, I believed that over 50 percent of
all problems were due to unforgiveness.  After ten years in ministry, 
I revised my estimate and maintained 75 to 80 percent of all health, 
marital, family, and financial problems came from unforgiveness.  Now, 
after almost twenty years in ministry, I have concluded that over 90 
percent of all problems are rooted in unforgiveness.

		THE NECESSITY OF FORGIVENESS

If most problems come from unforgiveness, we can understand why Jesus 
emphasizes forgiveness to an extreme degree.  When Peter suggested to 
Jesus that we should forgive seven times, he was correct. (Mt 18:21)  
Seven in the Bible stands for an indefinite number of times, so Peter 
was saying we should forgive indefinitely.  This is the correct answer 
but not the correct emphasis.  Jesus proclaims we should forgive "seventy 
times seven," indefinitely times indefinitely.  (Mt 18:22)  Jesus further 
emphasizes forgiveness by saying God's kingdom is a matter of forgiveness 
and those who do not forgive are handed over to torturers. (Mt 18:23, 34)  
And when the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, Jesus told 
them to pray they be forgiven as they forgive. (Mt 6:12)  This means prayer 
will hurt rather than help us if we do not forgive.  This is the only point 
in the Lord's prayer on which Jesus commented.  He reiterated: "If you 
forgive the faults of others, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours.  
If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you." (Mt 
6:14-15)  Jesus insists on forgiveness.  We must pass on the forgiveness
He has given us by the shedding of His blood on Calvary.

		THE POISON AND TORTURE OF UNFORGIVENESS

Why do we refuse to forgive?  Are we punishing the other person and 
protecting ourselves from further harm?  Not really.  Our enemies suffer 
minimally from our unforgiveness compared with the damage we do to 
ourselves.  The verdict we pass on others is passed on us. (Mt 7:2)  
Unforgiveness is a fatal poison which cuts us off from forgiveness 
(Mk 11:24-25), and worship. (Mt 5:23-24)

Then, when we are separated from the graces, we are handed over to
the torturers. (Mt 18:34)  These torturers are not people, but worse.
They are such experiences as fear, depression, frustration, anxiety, 
self-hatred and loneliness.  As these and other torturers work over
us, we deteriorate to a level of existence which is characterized by
fruitless, compulsive, escapist activities.

		THE MIRACLE AND MIRAGE OF FORGIVENESS

We must forgive others and ourselves or destroy ourselves.  Yet it is 
humanly impossible to forgive.  "To err is human, to forgive is divine."
Only God can forgive.  To forgive another is more miraculous than healing 
someone in the most advanced stages of cancer.  But God will do this 
miracle for us.

However, many times we do not ask for the miracle of forgiveness be-
cause we are deceived by the devil into thinking we have already 
forgiven another.  Many people help deceive themselves by re-defining 
forgiveness to be the control of hostile feelings instead of a merciful 
expression of love.  Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision to let
go of hurt due to an offense and to express this by extending loving 
mercy to those who have hurt us.  The Lord calls us to forgive affection-
ately, generously, and mercifully, as the father of the prodigal son did.
(Lk 15:20ff)  The following diagnostic questions can help us know if 
we've deceived ourselves about forgiving others.

  1) Am I conscious that God gave me the grace to forgive and that 
     I did not do it myself?  If you are not aware that God did it,
     He may not have.

  2) Have I forgiven but not forgotten?  If God is working, He will 
     give you the grace both to forgive and forget.

  3) Can I picture myself embracing the other person? (see Lk 15:20)

  4) Do I appreciate Confession (the Sacrament of Reconciliation) and
     celebrate it frequently?  If we are forgiving graciously and 
     lovingly, we are being forgiven in this way in the sacrament.  
     This would attract us to Confession.

A "No" answer to on of these questions doesn't mean we've not forgiven 
but it's a bad sign.

		FORGIVENESS AND MERCY

The essence of forgiveness by God's standards is the giving of mercy.  
Mercy means to treat others better than they deserve.  When we extend 
mercy to those who have offended us, we kiss prodigal sons, give presents 
to offenders, and have special celebrations in honor of our enemies.  
These people don't deserve this, but we have mercy on them anyway.  We 
don't deserve the redemptive death of God's Son, the shedding of His 
blood, and the promise of eternal happiness.  But He has given them to 
us anyway because of His mercy.

The Lord expects us to pass on to others the merciful forgiveness we
have received from Him.  We are reluctant to do this because of the
high cost of extending mercy.  Although Jesus has paid the price for 
mercy by His death on Calvary, He lets us share in His sufferings. 
(see Col 1:24)  For example, if someone hits your car, you can have 
mercy on them and pay for it yourself.  That mercy may cost you $800.00.  
That is some of the cheapest mercy you'll ever give.  What if your 
husband told you he had committed adultery but that he would never do it 
again?  He wanted you to take him back and help put your marriage back 
together.  If you have mercy on him, you will take a tremendous emotional,
psychological, and spiritual loss.  Even if you don't have mercy, you 
will suffer.  But you feel like making your husband pay for his adultery
as much as possible because you don't have to pay for it as much if you 
take it out on him.

Mercy is so expensive that we don't want to think of it.  Pope John Paul 
II taught: "The present day mentality, more perhaps than that of people 
in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude 
from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy.  The 
word and the concept of 'mercy' seems to cause uneasiness in man." (_Rich 
In Mercy_, 2)  In a world of gross injustices, we feel embarrassed to talk
of mercy to victims of violence, rape, abuse, and racism.  But when we
have mercy, we are not condoning sin but loving sinners.  In fact, the
more we love sinners, the more we hate the sin that degrades them.  We
must follow the example of Jesus, the most victimized Person Who has ever
lived.  He said" "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are 
doing." (Lk 23:34)  Then He extended His mercy by promising the good thief 
that he would be in paradise that very day. (Lk 23:43)  Even as Jesus died, 
He poured forth the abundant stream of mercy.

In the Old Testament, the gold plate over the ark of the covenant was 
called the "propitiatory," or "mercy-seat."  Here Yahweh sat in all His 
mercy.  The New Testament fulfillment of the mercy-seat is the tabernacle.
Come before the tabernacle, into the presence of the eucharistic Jesus.
Ask for mercy to come to you and through you.  You may even put out your
hand and touch the tabernacle, the new mercy-seat.  With that touch, you 
can receive what the hemorrhaging woman experienced when she touched the
hem of Jesus' robe. (see Lk 8:46)  You will experience God's power and
the miracle of mercy.

		THE PRAYER OF FORGIVENESS 

If we see that we have not forgiven by extending God's mercy, we should
repent and simply ask the Lord to do the miracle of forgiveness.  Our 
prayerful decision to forgive and God's grace is all that's necessary.  
Our prayer will be answered immediately.

But sometimes our prayer does not seem to work because we are only mouthing 
the words and deep down don't want to forgive.  We are like the unforgiving 
brother of the prodigal son (Lk 15:28) or like Jonah in his hatred of the 
Ninevites. (Jon 3:10--4:1)  In this case, we should back our prayer up a 
step and pray not from where we should be but from where we are.  Before
we pray to forgive, we should pray to be willing to forgive.  Otherwise, 
our hearts will contradict our words.  God will give us the willingness 
and then the forgiveness.  We should then celebrate this forgiveness in 
the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

		THE EMBRACE OF FORGIVENESS 

The sign of forgiveness is outstretched arms.  The forgiving father threw
his arms around the neck of the prodigal son and kissed him. (Lk 15:20)  
Jesus received the embrace and kiss of Judas, and forgave him. (Mk 14:45)
Finally, Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross and would have embraced
us all if we had not nailed His arms to the cross.  Right now, imagine
embracing someone you need to forgive.  By God's grace and in God's mercy,
say to this person: "I forgive you."

Now go, embrace these people.  If this is impossible, call or write them
without delay.  If they are aware of problems in their relationship with 
you, apologize to them and ask them to forgive you for not forgiving
them.  Then give them a gift. (see Lk 15:22ff)  Show the mercy of our
forgiving Father.  If those you need to forgive have died or are not able
to be contacted, ask Jesus to contact them and pass on your forgiveness.
Don't lose any time. (Mt 5:25)  Receive the miracle of forgiveness now.
--
Printed with ecclesiastical permission, Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Reproduced with permission.
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We always give the best to the ones we love………..

They always say you can’t give what you do not have. Therefore in order for you to have something to offer to others you must have that “something to offer” in the first place.

What is that “something”? That “something”must be “special” or better yet “extra special” in a way to that person you consider giving it to. Another thing is it shouldn’t hurt or harm the other person. If it does then why would you let the other person down, why would you give them something you know isn’t good for them?

While serving others I found out that we only give what’s best for them. Like when I cook for my family I try to give food which could be healthy or beneficial for them. I don’t want them to get sick coz I care so much for them. That’s what I mean in giving the best we have to others… to the ones we love. We sacrifice a lot to offer only the best for them.

Giving them things that they truly need and not only things that they want coz at times there are things that they just want which could be harmful for them. Therefore the giver must know what we truly need rather than what we just want. Now it would be easier if the receiver want only things that she really needs!

In closing, just wanna say we become more fulfilled when we sacrifice ourselves to serve others. When we  listen hard to what they truly need. When we give our best to others all the time and to the ones we love…. they also learn in becoming selfless as well.

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Happy Birthday to Kristen Stewart’s better half Robert Pattinson!

Just wanna say Thank You to Robert Pattinson for loving Kristen Stewart…

Thank you as well for being such a wonderful human being… a good son, brother, friend, boyfriend, actor, singer, musician…

Thank you for  despite all the success you have gained because of hardwork and dedication you have in your work …you remain humble and true…

May the good Lord bless you always and your better half Kristen Stewart…Happy  birthday to you!!!!!!!!

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how my little reflections make me a softee

This afternoon I had the chance to think about the things I wanted to do in my life be it now or in the near future. I also thought of the things I’ve done in the past and what have I gained through them in a positive way. There were so many good things that had happened and at the same time there were those which haunted me coz I felt I didn’t try my best for them. I was simply a coward at times I might say or I didn’t care enough or I felt they weren’t so important coz I was too arrogant or selfish to act on them. Ofcourse to some people they’re important but bec I was too selfish, …for me they aren’t and I somehow feel guilty about them. Now I am trying to defend myself so as not to feel guilty on some aspects. Sometimes I blame no one but me but sometimes I also blame certain  situations which could have change my attitude on those particular issues that I could have dealt with enough courage. However it’s time to move on coz what had happened had happened so let’s deal with it…move on… I guess I have learned a lot from those issues that have been thrown upon me…Do what you have to do which you think is right and the best way for that matter to be solved…Don’t take shit…I learned this from my fave actress Kristen Stewart…she’s young, she’s not perfect, she makes some mistakes too in her life but what I like most about her ( as witnessed from the many fans and people who’ve known her…  she sticks with what she believes in and acts on them…such a courageous young woman)…I guess that’s what I don’t have at times…I knew that I’m right but I lack the courage to act on them…I worry a lot because I was too selfish…lacking  passion on the things I love to do . I need to do and I should do…Yes passion and conviction…and not to forget compassion…coz if you don’t have compassion selfishness sets in and it’s for me more of a hindrance to be able to understand others and accept their situations and help them in what they need…for their own benefit!

On the other hand if you think you are still confused with a lot of things and you have your own  fears in making decisions in life seek also God’s guidance and love…and as I always say He’ll provide us enough courage to fight and settle our issues in our everyday life! God bless everyone!

Kristen Stewart and the Gentleman

how people get to smile …

Hmmmm back at writing again…It’s been a month or so…I have a new set of students again to start the school year…As always I am obliged to serve them and guide them in their studies…be a good leader or a  teacher to them or be their most trusted friend as well…

I notice that I have some really really shy students this year than in the past year…What I mean is they really wouldn’t ask me questions and talk to me unless I open up first…which I find so odd since last year my set of students were completely different- so at ease or some of them maybe already even during the first week I may say so  and much more during the second week  of classes  …  but now there was this one who seems to be so aloof even when we were on our second week already…but then as days went by I notice that she isn’t really stiff as I thought so …I realized that she knows how to smile after all…Maybe at first she thought I couldn’t be a friend to her apart from being her teacher… but I made her realized that there is nothing to worry about being in my class… it really takes time to really get to know our students…Now she would get my hand before she leaves the room as a gesture of respect…and even would greet before she enters the room…but during the first week she wouldn’t even get my hand or even say goodbye to me when she leaves and or greet me when she comes…She is not the type of a person I guess who would easily trust someone..That’s what I notice about her…but once she got to know me  coz I always put an effort to smile at her even if she wouldn’t smile…that gesture from me I guess made a big difference…Now she talks to me in a very soft voice even if I wasn’t the first one who opens up…I am now getting her to trust me…Not only that I want to teach in my class I also wanted my students to trust me so that we could work harmoniously together in the  coming days and months to come…For two weeks I shared with them so many interesting stories of love, of  friendship, of caring…

In any organization one of our aims would be to be able to gain the trust of our co workers and even those we work with in that group or community…We all wanted to give respect with each other… and so to gain the respect of others we need to respect them as well…Respect begets respect…then trust will follow…

Aiming to love

It’s been a while^^…Lately I’ve been busy preparing for our coming NAT Exams for our six graders in school…and it’s not really an easy task because it’s like getting our pupils to review their old and new lessons alike and have them set their minds on  the importance of passing the NAT Exams….”You need to pass this exam guys so that you can claim  that you are deserving to go to the next level of your schooling 🙂 “….Even young kids need to prove something for themselves lol…yet I also tell them to accept failure if they failed but they should do their best to make it…

Though we’re busy with our school life:)  “whispers” I also have time to tweet and visit my FB every now and then lol!

I just noticed that more and more people are getting hooked on the internet..ehem ehem lol^^…because we love our  fave couple Robsten:)

I dunno why I got hooked on Robsten lol….Love can be addictive I guess 🙂

I remember watching Twilight for the first time a year ago I guess… from there I just loved Robsten’s chemistry….  and that’s it….Then I saw Kristen’s interviews on YT and Rob as well….and then the two of them together…. and saw love in them…true love…so until now I just love watching them celebrate their love together….I was just so glad that in Hollywood a young couple manage to stay true to themselves and have loved each other however difficult it might be to maintain a relationship in the entertainment world..

Robsten lives in a world where people are  hungrily craving for success and some lunatic fans as some haters  are trying to pull Robsten down….but  as some wonderful RK fans have said ….they can’t because RK aren’t hungry fame seekers and prefer to lead just a normal life as much as they can….I just hope other stars would be like RK because some stars would do anything even sell their souls just to make it in Hollywood….When Robsten will no longer be around in Hollywood I guess they could handle it….Those stars who got depressed when they’ve lost their shine  felt frustrated and depressed because they set higher standards for themselves…during their time all they wanted is to be rich and famous….which I believe is a dangerous thing to aim in life especially with Hollywood stars….Let’s just aim for what is right…aim for your happiness and love:)

Kristen Stewart’s Passion

All I try to do in the press is be honest about something that I really care about- Kristen Stewart.

Love Kristen Stewart’s way of expressing herself although she may say that she isn’t as eloquent or as perfect as other celebrities are when it comes to doing  interviews.  Well what I  like about her is the way she  sincerely conveys herself  to the viewers and that she puts her heart and soul in what  she does. That’s what makes her an inspiration to those who have little faith in themselves.  As for me being true to oneself makes it easier for you to love yourself. Kristen Stewart is a good role model to the young generation for she is able to show how to still live and act as a normal and a simple person despite the success she’s having in her chosen field.

This morning I’ve read about articles mentioning “What could be Kristen Stewart’s life after Twilight?”. I guess Kristen Stewart will continue to shine after Twilight  because she is a hardworking, talented young woman. I don’t think also that she is desperate in becoming “famous” all her life. I believe she is an artist first and foremost who is so passionate in what she does and that is for me the very essence of her personality- she is a strong person who loves her work and finds fulfillment in it by being a true artist yet remains true to herself always. So Kristen Stewart we love you!

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Twilight

Lanterns for Christmas

 

 

In my province in Pampanga, these lanterns would find their way during the Christmas season….People would cost them a lot just to have one displayed in their homes…but if you want to see more of these beautiful lanterns just visit San Fernando, Pampanga one of the greatest cities we have producing great lanterns….

I remember the “drama” I had with lanterns when I was younger^^….It was Simbang Gabi then and Noche Buena….The whole family except my late father went out to go to church for the Noche Buena mass….I was maybe 8 yrs old then and I was the only one left behind with my father coz they refused to wake me up because they said I was really so sleepy at that time….So when I woke up, they were already at the church….I went down the stairs crying….The more I even looked exactly like Bruce Lee then^_~from too much crying(sob sob T_T)….So my father was trying to pacify me….He told me to stop crying so what he did I remember was to point at me the beautiful lantern in our neighborhood….Although it was really hard for me to stop crying coz I really wanted to attend the Noche Buena mass….He sat beside me and told me about the lantern as the symbol of that light that had guided the three kings from finding the Child Jesus….and we just sat there for an hour and looked at that beautiful lantern….until I stopped crying….After that my father  promised me that no matter what they would take me to the mass during the Noche Buena^^….but, by just looking at the lantern I may say by now that somehow I was already part of the thanksgiving mass we have for the birth of the Child Jesus….

Blessed Month…

December is a busy month yet it seems like everything just comes so smoothly during this particular month…..Like every Filipino would get excited about the coming celebrations it offers and everyone learns to offer a gift with one another…..although my real wish for us would be to become humble like what Jesus had shown us from the time of His birth and until now….We should be humble enough in asking blessings from God and in giving what we have to others….We should be thankful to all the gifts God has given us….Be thankful on what we have now and do not ask for too much….and share to others the blessings He has given us….

 

Sunflower-dream-dl