Prayer of St. Francis (26)
Feb 11, 2016
Prayer of St. Francis (26)
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
“Forgive us our depts.
As we forgive our debtors.”
This line of the prayer of St. Francis is a direct correlation with the line of the Our Father, the prayer of Jesus that those of us who are Christians say so often and is attributed to have been said by Jesus when asked how to pray, where we are told to forgive.
To forgive Ourselves, Forgive Another
How do we forgive another? Even more critical, how do we forgive ourselves? These two great questions cannot be answered simply, as they challenge us all at one time or another. Many books have been written on both sides of the question, and the crux of the answer lies in the directive of this line of the Prayer of St. Francis: It is only by forgiving others that we learn how to forgive ourselves. This strange paradox baffles most believers in the power of forgiveness, for it seems so illogical when stated so bluntly, but it states the bold truth: Only by forgiving another do we find the courage to forgive ourselves.
Forgiving Another Removes our Pain
We carry an enormous weight on our shoulders when we carry anger, thoughts of revenge, and other blame worthy ideas. These thoughts raise our blood pressure, cause us to lose sleep, and create loaded stress in our bodies that is dangerous to our health, both physical and mental. Those who have thirsted for revenge in the murder of a loved one, and cheered the execution of the guilty party, have found themselves filled with anger later, much to their surprise that the execution had not quelled their anger and thirst for revenge. They then relish their anger, eager to express it to others, often stating that the executed one did not suffer sufficiently, keeping the hatred and anger alive often for the rest of their (shortened) life. That act becomes the focus of their life, when it is so futile since nothing will bring back their lost one, and they have effectively thrown away their lives, and allowed the one who had killed a loved one to take their lives in addition.
To forgive another is to allow us to live again, to move into the Now that is present and not live in the past and lose out on life altogether. To hang on to the anger of a past event is a failure to see the flow of life for what it is: a series of events in our life, some good to be enjoyed and some not so good to be forgiven and moved on, using the event as a means of deepening our understanding of the varieties of the experience of life.
Pardoning another is the pathway to finding that Peace that passes all Understanding. When we pardon another person their action is removed from the burden we have assumed, and the world becomes lighter, brighter and less stressful, more joyful, and we can now find happiness in the passing flow of life.
We were created as a vessel full of joy, and our task on earth is to hold on to or reclaim that joy so that we may find ourselves in the Joy of the Love of God while still here on this earth, so to see “The Kingdom of God that lies within” as Jesus said. We are meant to live in the Kingdom of God in our ordinary everyday life; for Life is God Itself expressing Itself in joyful vibration if we only open our eyes to see.
See the sunrise.
See the flower.
See the butterfly.
And the key to finding that Kingdom of God is Forgiveness; first learning to forgive others and then learning to forgive ourselves; then the Kingdom of God is revealed to us as being right in front of us, around us, enveloping us all this time.
We will continue to look at the power of forgiveness.
“Do to others
as you would
have them do to you.”
Questions to Ponder
Do you have some well of anger and (dare I say it) thirst for revenge inside your soul?
No? Look deeper; seldom does not one have hidden deep within some event that is unresolved. Examine it carefully, accept that it occurred, then let it go, let it go.
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”
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