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.

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.

Image

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!!!!!!!!

Image

It’s always there……

Just thought of comparing plants to us humans in some ways that I understand…

I love plants…I love taking care of them …Even if we only have a little space in our backyard to grow plants still I manage to grow some of them in pots….and it was so fulfilling…

When I was just a kid I tried to plant an apple seed at the back of our house coz my late Father would always tell me that whatever plant or seed you place under the ground it will surely grow…but then ofcourse he also told me that plants have certain characteristics that we should consider in order for them to survive….like how it will adapt to its climate, to its soil , to the quality of the plant itself etc….

Still I was so stubborn…I believed in what he said that whatever seed or plant you put into the soil it will surely grow…So I place an apple seed on the soil and observed it for days…Then something sprouted and I told myself that it was really a young apple tree… I told all members of my family not to cut it whatever happens but my brother told me that it isn’t an apple plant…He said we can never grow apple trees in our place because of our climate…apples only grow to places with cold climate… so he cut it much to my dismay…later on I realized that he was right coz how come I’ve never seen any of our  neighbors and our neighboring towns grow apples in their backyard…From then on I gave up in growing apples in our  backyard….

Plants are like us humans in a way….No matter how we try to blend with our surroundings, to adapt to other cultures in order to understand other people still we go back to the basics….Maybe some can change their whole persona and embrace the changes in them yet we can’t totally erase what’s inside us ….what’s inside us is permanent…it’s solid….it’s unbreakable…even if we deny it and claim that it’s no longer in us….in my humble opinion what or who we really are will haunt us for as long as we live….

Image

a funny moment in the middle of the night

My Mom and I always have fun together coz she’s just so cool and I love her for that:)

So, there were so many times that she had made me laugh and I guess that is the reason why it is always so nice to stay with her and enjoy her company…well I’m just cheap lol and little things mean a lot to me so I wanna share this with you…My Mom I guess who’s too old already needs to still adapt to this modern life we have as well…

So, we all know how cellphones nowadays have these kind of weird ringing tones which usually come from sounds of animals, humans, or things as glasses being broken,water being poured to a glass, the sound of bees buzzing , etc etc….So two nights ago in the middle of the night while we were sleeping Mom suddenly woke up from a sound and then she said “Sollee I can hear a cellphone maybe it’s yours answer it now coz it might be something important !”….Well blame it on modern technology lol! My Mom actually didn’t see me wake up to take a wee wee LMAO! So there you are haha I’m just cheap coz those little things mean a lot to me^^…

I just love my Mom’s attitude about life, love, and fun:)

Robsten having fun:)

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

good friends equals greater hopes

How time flies so fast and now we are almost done with September…A week from now it will be October which is quite a busy month for us students and teachers who are anticipating more seminars, encampments, press cons , school fairs, sports fest and others…Then we’ll also have our city Fiesta which is celebrated every 2nd Sunday of October…Not to forget our extra- curricular activities lol…fun times with family and friends…

And speaking of good times I wanted to dedicate this post  to two young Filipina who I happen to admire because of their extraordinary qualities…extraordinary in such a way that I see their courtesy to older people , the sincere love they have with their neighbors, the humility they exhibit in acknowledging things they still do not know but are willing to know, and the drive and hope they have to succeed in life…Thank you Nikki my lovely daughter and Rynee my young friend to the hope you’ve given on our young people… that truly our  youth deserve to be called ” the hope of our nation”…

when there is love there is life…

Oh …Terrorism in Norway?…Another sad sad news!…As our world make changes for the better it also has its share of worst times…At times it feels as if it’s better to just dream coz in our dreams we can make things better…and we can always  dream and hope  for the best…That’s why I always dream:)

Some of our movies and popular books were also products of our dreams…and I really don’t complain because some of them teach us how to love unconditionally…just like Twilight…

Bella and Edward’s love story is an example of it…In Twilight Edward refuses to turn Bella into a vampire because he doesn’t want her to lose her soul…In New Moon he let her go but Bella’s love for Edward won’t just let it … that they won’t be together again… and so she  saved him in the end and they were reunited in love…In Eclipse their love was tested and they won in the end…In Breaking Dawn Bella showed Edward that her love has no boundaries that she could sacrificed herself  for the ones she loves…she got pregnant and decided to face  her pregnancy to protect the child in her womb and give the baby a life of her own because the baby for her is a product of love…how sweet it is even if it’s just a product of the author’s dream…

I love how Kristen Stewart defended Bella’s pregnancy in some of her interviews…that Bella Swan’s character chose to have a baby with the man she loves…maybe some people might find it just a crazy story, a fantasy but I find it different…it has to be love, true love to sacrifice your life to the ones you love…

In our country there were debates on who are pro life and who aren’t…what is constitutional and what isn’t?…what could solve poverty and what couldn’t?…I guess I love Kristen Stewart’s defense on Bella’s pregnancy…she wanted to have a baby because she loved the baby and she loved her husband…No need to say you are pro life or anti life…Just one word…LOVE… you love the baby inside your womb and you wanted to protect her from harm no matter what…

Terrorism grows because we don’t care about lives…We are worst than the terrorists…We plant bombs in mothers’ wombs even before they were born…and when we hear stories of killings we cringed…we get angry…but in reality we’ve killed our sons and daughters with our own  selfishness and greed …we should know better…

I hope someday this world we live in would be humble enough to face the truth and follow the teachings of God that we must protect life and each other from harm even the unborn…