Holy Week – Good Friday!

Imagine Jesus walking to Calvary and His mother following to be near to her child. I don’t think any mom in that situation would call it “Good Friday”.

Both Jesus and His Mother accepted it as God’s will.

We call it “Good Friday” because our sins were forgiven and the gates to heaven open to us.

We should all have joy in knowing the possibility of eternal life was a gift to us.

We shouldn’t hold grudges but we do. The pain they caused was too much and so very easy to not forgive. We have 100 + reasons why this person is not worthy to be forgiven.

But Jesus died for everyone and Jesus can forgive all sins. It’s what made Good Friday good.

Have a Good Friday – be willing to let God and Mother Mary walk with you, as you know heaven is possible for everyone. Let Go of anger, let go of resentment, let go of hurt, let go so we may all be at peace.

More reflection necessary!

From the Diary of St Faustina

Good Friday begins the Divine Mercy novena

http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.php

On Forgiveness – Step 1: Knowing who I am!

img_1596I needed to know who I am before I could forgive others and sometimes I found I had to forgive myself first.

It took me years to accept God’s unconditional love.  I gave God many of reasons to leave me but God never left.

I read about, heard about God’s unconditional love but to accept that I am lovable took years.  It also took people (“Jesus with skin on” as my friend Tory would say) to show me the way.  To actually love me and not just tell me about His great love.   It took reading scripture and going to mass to hear the word of love.

 

It is very easy to feel unlovable.   Myself I heard words that I didn’t belong in certain groups, or that I wouldn’t amount to anything because as a I didn’t run as fast as other team members.

There were times when I wanted to prove myself and even if I hit a triple in softball it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t a home run.  The stinking thinking had an effect on my personal life and my spiritual life.

Sometimes I wanted to prove myself to God, but truth is God didn’t need proof.  He created me, He called me, He loved me.  I simply had to turn my will over to His and follow Him.

Once I could accept that love, then as a child of God and a follower  —  I had to be the person God created me to be.  Forgiveness isn’t always about doing something but it is about being the person that I am created to be.   That life in Christ makes me die to self, to pride and self-righteousness.  God already died for all the sins, I just had to say “I am sorry” and “I forgive you”.

Knowing Christ died for all –  I remember that moment when the knowledge that Christ died for all moved from my head to my heart.  — Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, saving all..”   I was on retreat and the preacher said, Christ died for everyone– I had to think of everyone… those who I felt justified to hold a grudge, and I had to let go the grudge so God’s mercy could flow.

Maybe it is not just knowing who I am but who I am not – I am not the judge and I am not the creator.   God chose to give everyone free will, that ability to decide between good and evil.    There are times when I made the evil choice and times when someone chose to do evil that caused me pain and suffering.

When I made the bad choice then I have to repent, to make amends with those I hurt.

When others made the choice against me, I can take on the attitude of Christ.  I can choose to forgive.  Christ took it upon Himself to die for our sins.

Going to the next step and putting forgiveness into an action take time, God’s timing!  It takes God’s grace and courage to be a willing servant of God.   As always, my thoughts are scattered and I need more time for reflection.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. – Phil 2:5-11

 

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”. — Benedict XVI, December 25, 2005, Deus Caritas est

Selfless or Selfish

When deciding if I am acting selfish or bending toward selfless I always look to the cross of Jesus.   It is a deep reflection as we look back 44 years ago and as I am anti-abortion, pro-life. Jesus_Cross

I do not have children and have never been in a situation where I would have to make that kind of choice.   My mother had nine children and said she wanted all of us.   She certainly sacrificed having more possessions by having children.  I remember her having the same pair of dress shoes, and only one pair for like 15 years.   She said, I was a difficult pregnancy and comments were made that it may be better if she miscarried because I could end up being “retarded (a word she did not approve anyone using)”.  It was over 60 years ago.  I am here.  Healthy.  And maybe all the prayers has my eyes on Jesus.

I remember about 10 years ago, my friend Shirley’s daughter Kita.  She was 35.  She found out she had breast cancer and was pregnant all at once.  Kita said she had to give birth before undergoing treatment.   Kita was someone who looked to the cross in making her decision.  She told Shirley, “If God took me to it, He will take me through it”.  She died and we all miss her wisdom.

I am praying today, for those who need the cross as an example of giving and those who need the cross to help in the forgiving.   What Jesus did was selfless, wanting us to live He was willing to die.  What Jesus did gives all of us the chance to be forgiven for all the times we were selfish.  Isn’t that what any sin is about, selfishness.  I am grateful for the cross.  For all the times I was not willing to sacrifice myself for others, for all the times I have torn down others with words or deeds, for all the times I didn’t believe in forgiving those who harmed me and for the times I stepped out of mercy.

And sometimes when I think, I am not Jesus so I can’t, I study the lives of the saints.  The saints who were humans and decided to live their life to mirror the selflessness of Jesus.

St. Maximillan Kolbe

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

The point is Jesus is an example of selflessness and He is very forgiving to those who are selfish.  It is a win win if we give our lives to Him.

Lots more reflection on today, but got to get to Church!