You know the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for the day!”
My day has been fairly upside down because of a number of unexpected events but I always try to find time to post a blog – I think the Lord knows that is always one of my plans for the day!
There is time for an update on my appearance on Newt Gingrich’s podcast, “Newt’s World”. I just learned we are over 21,000 downloads and counting. Heartfelt thanks for the enthusiastic emails I’ve received since the podcast aired Sunday! Two links:
GOD WILLED AND LOVED OUR LIFE INTO BEING
Pope Francis this morning in St. Peter’s Square continued his weekly catechesis on the “Our Father,” telling the faithful present, “we now consider the expression: ‘as we forgive those who trespass against us’.”
He began by noting that, “Since everything we have, including our very existence, comes as a gift from God, we are always in his debt, for our life was not simply willed, it was also loved into being.
“We can be confident, then,” he added, “that the Lord will always forgive our trespasses when we ask him with contrite hearts. Yet this grace also calls us to forgive others, just as God has forgiven us. We see this in the parable of the unmerciful servant, who though having his own enormous debt written off, in turn refuses to cancel a much smaller debt owed to him. The message is clear: if you refuse to forgive, then you will not be forgiven.”
Francis then explained that, “God’s abundant grace is always demanding. Those who have received so much must learn to give as much, without holding some back for themselves.”
The Holy Father illustrated with a story of a priest he knew who went to hear the confession of a lady who was on her deathbed.
The Pope said, “the priest asked her if she repented of all her sins. ‘Yes’ was her answer.”
“Then the priest asked: ‘Do you forgive others? And the lady, at the point of death, said: ‘No.’
“The priest was distressed. If you do not forgive, God will not forgive you.”
If we have problems forgiving others, said Pope Francis, we need to ask the Lord to help us to forgive.
Forgiveness stops spread of evil
Pope Francis noted that Jesus inserts the power of forgiveness into human relationships, saying it fills the gap left by justice in the world.
“Not everything in life is resolved by justice. Especially where it is necessary to put a stop to evil, someone must love beyond what is necessary, in order to restart a story of grace. Evil knows how to take revenge, and, if we do not interrupt it, [evil] risks spreading, suffocating the whole world.”
Thus, Pope Francis concluded, “this Easter week is an opportunity to offer others the most precious gift we have received: forgiveness.” (vaticannews)