Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forgive Him

I am still reading Dietrich von Hildebrand's Transformation in Christ,  a book that gives a solid analysis of the Christian virtues. What fascinates me most about the work is its keen insight into the Gospels and how they are to be lived.

Chapter 13 explores the topics of forgiveness and mercy. The good news of the Gospel is that we are sinners and not merely victims. We are not just helpless people where everything we do is a "mistake." The Gospel tells us, shockingly, that some things are excusable and everything is forgivable.

God's mercy is uncompromising. Just as we have been given forgiveness and loved when we were distant from God, so we must extend forgiveness and love our enemies. This is not because God works on some system that says, "Forgiveness is a freebie the first time, but after that you have to earn it." Rather, it's because God's love is always freely given. Our unforgiveness enslaves, hardens, and blinds us. The clenched fist in unforgiveness cannot receive the mercy of God.

The command to forgive is given because God has been laboring to open us to His mercy since the day we were born. He will go on doing it till the day we die and beyond. His command of mercy – and the blessing He places on it – is a promise of an eternity of peace and love, if we will abide in it.

The promise is as stark as the warning is strong: If we give no mercy, we can expect none. If we choose to show mercy, we shall – absolutely shall – obtain mercy.

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Pray for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

"Christ has so ordained all concerns of religion that Mary participated and cooperated in all of them. If other proof were wanted, would we need aught else but to mention that Mary is the Mother of Jesus and of all those that are born of Jesus? All the graces that we receive from Jesus pass through the hands of Mary and are at her disposal: and does not Jesus, by the very fact, furnish us an additional proof of his incomparable love for mankind? "
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade