Forgive and Forget

If we want to be more like God, shouldn’t we be as forgiving as Him too?

Whenever we pray “Or Father” and say, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those trespass against us,” it’s not about Him forgiving us like how we do. Instead, He is inviting us to participate in the gift of forgiveness. He is inviting us to forgive as He does. Think about it. If God can tolerate my mistakes, shouldn’t I also tolerate the mistakes of others? if God can overlook my mistakes, shouldn’t I also overlook other people’s errors? If God welcomes me as His loving daughter despite all my sins and failures, shouldn’t I extend the same grace to others?

People often say, “it is not fair. He does not deserve to be forgiven.” But, no one who has offended another deserves forgiveness from the one they offended. It is not a right to be forgiven. Rather, it is a gift from the offended to the offender. We forgive not because the offender deserves our forgiveness but because we have been forgiven incomparably more by God whom we have all offended.

God’s main reason for forgiving us is not to absolve us from our sins or cancel our debts, it is to love us and show us His mercy. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is more of an opportunity to experience the unconditional love of the Prodigal Father, who lavishly and readily pours out His mercy, love and forgiveness onto us, even if we feel we may not deserve it, especially when we seem to be repeating the same old sins time and again. Moreover, after feeling His abundant and loving mercy, we would also start to find the strength and grace to forgive those who may have hurt or trespassed against us. We would be so touched by His mercy that we would forgive not simply because the bible tells us so but more so out of the love we have received from God which allows us to offer the same love to others.

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Photo credit: Knights and Dames

Actually, the ability to forgive is not a very distant concept from us. It is already within our hearts because God has been giving His mercy and forgiveness (together with grace and love) to us ever since we were born into this world. Nonetheless, as humans, just as we had to learn to love, we also need to learn to forgive. We always say, “forgive and forget” but we usually only forgive but not really forget. According to Mother Teresa, we need both to truly forgive others. She said, we need love to forgive and humility to forget in order to do so like God. Loving, hence forgiving is easy. Its easy to love people, especially family and friends, hence making them easier to forgive. Indeed, when people say, “I’m sorry.” We readily say, “it’s okay. Apology accepted.” Am I right?

But, according to Mother Teresa, unless we forget, we have not fully forgiven. In fact, when we don’t forget, that’s how we hurt each other because we would bring the issue up again when another thing happens. Hence, nor forgetting results in not fully forgiving and as long as we remember, the issue would continue to hunt and burden us. Hence, in order for us to forget, we need to have humility and accept the fact that people are not perfect and we would always make mistakes.

This Lent, let us first learn to seek the Father’s forgiveness not simply out of fear for punishment, but rather in response to the generous love and mercy He wishes to pour into our hearts. Subsequently, we can be more able to not only “cancel the debts” of our brothers and sisters in Christ, but also to become more like Christ in offering others His love and mercy.

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Keep your arms wide open

Always keep your arms wide open and welcome people as they walk into you life.

Some people may only walk in once and stay forever. Open your arms and hug them and never let them go.  They will be with you through good times and bad. Keep your arms wide open to always be ready to receive and give much love.

Some people may walk into your life momentarily and then, leave forever. Open your arms. You’d want to experience their purpose in your life so let them. Similarly, give them as much love as you can. Open your arms and hug them before they go out of your life. That’s the best souvenir or token of appreciation for someone who ain’t coming back.

Some people may just be on the sidelines. Open up your arms such that it says, “Welcome! Please come in.” Hoping one day they will so that they can also experience your love. Otherwise, it’s just always nice to let people know that love is all around.

Some people may walk in and out of your life. Open your arms and continue loving them still. They might have fallen along the way due to some heavy burden. They need no judgment or persecution but your understanding and love. Give them the benefit of the doubt and be welcoming. Realise that there might be something about you that keeps drawing them back.

Sometimes, you may feel like a swinging door with people constantly walking in and out of your life that it starts to hurt. Keep your arms wide open still. Love was not meant to be easily angered. It perseveres. Even the sinners love those who love them, but only the children of God can turn the other cheek and continue to love those who’ve hurt, crushed, and trampled on one’s heart. Love was not meant to be measured. You just give all you have in hopes of receiving them back too.

So, keep your arms wide open for anytime someone would need them.

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Photo Credit: thisisdiana

A Prayer for Employment

God, our Father, 

I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment.

I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest.

I wish to use the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need the opportunity to do so with gainful employment.

Do not abandon me, dear Father, in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance.

Grant this through Christ, our Lord. 

Amen

jhkPhoto credits: The Post and Courier

 

God-centric Partnership

It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by stable loving couples with a God-centric relationship. Not only does it show that it’s possible, it’s also shows that putting God as the foundation of your relationship makes it that much stronger.

I used to like “bad guys” because I thought they’re the ones “with balls” and be more able to protect you. But I’ve been realising that God’s our protector and having a God-loving guy with God in his side would be the greatest coolest thing ever. So, find a man who loves God before he even knows that you exist. A man who falls to his knees, with tears in his eyes and hands held high, without a care to the world watching him. A man who knows that God is the best foundation in your relationship. A relationship that brings you each other closer to Him.

Imagine! The man who loves Jesus will respect you. He’ll pursue you and treasure you. He won’t pressure you or control you, but gently walk beside you and lead you. He will appreciate you as the gift and beauty you are, and remind you of it every day. He will worship with you. He’ll pray for you and pray with you. He will lead you with strong hands, stand up when you can’t, but remind you that God will always be there. That would be an everyday reminder that God loves us! Since he learned how to love from God, he’d love you according to 1 Corinthians 13. He would love you as God loved us.  He’d draw his love from God and that love would be genuine and overflowing. He’d offer your love to God by spreading it to others, especially your children. God is love – that’s where love should begin and end.

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Easier said than done huh? To begin with, how do we even find such a person? Imagine when you’re in a dance, what do you do to finally get that perfect dance? Would you dance around in search for the one? How tiring that might be! According to my friend, dance with God instead. Spend your time getting to know Him. Some people may approach and ask for your hand along the way. But, with God there, He’d ward off the “wrong boys” until the right one comes along. Then, He’d let him cut in and take your hand. Subsequently, you’d always put God in the middle of the relationship and always run to Him, for good times and bad. Together, you’d fulfill God’s purpose and do things that glorifies His name. Isn’t that a wonderful love story to tell your future children and the world? (:

Henceforth… for now, until further notice, God is my boyfriend. (:

Photo credits: Alycia Teo

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Rosary for a friend

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I was at Catholic sharing session and the leader asked us to think of something to do for someone we care about and offer it up to God. Since then, I have been praying the rosary everyday and offering it up for my friend. In fact, I’ve been doing it first thing in the morning because I’d like to think that my prayer is with her through the day. It’s not that she needs help or anything. Instead, it seems that she’s doing great and standing well on her own. However, I’m afraid that she’s straying away from God and has been putting things in her hands. I’ve been in that situation (it ain’t pretty)and, as a sister in Christ, I wouldn’t want her to go through that. According to John 15:12, “Love each other as I have loved you.” and I believe that even during those times when we drift away from him and think we can do things on our own, he still looks after us, protects us, and blesses us. As such, I am praying for her. If I am wrong about her predicament, well, I at least hope that my concern can bring us closer together. And, I hope that soon enough, she’ll feel God’s love and his comforting embrace again.

How about you? Maybe you have  a friend who could use some prayers. Abstain from something or do some small deeds and offer it up for her. Your friend may not know it but God will.

Let there be light.

Sometimes, we make so much mistakes and commit so much things that we start to see ourselves as terrible people. We feel that we’ve done so much wrong and so irrevocably damaged that there is no turning back. When we look into the mirror, we see so much evil that you need to be saved from yourself. And, when you look around, all you see is darkness and you don’t know who to reach out to either.

The thing is, we are created in God’s image and we are actually innately good people. However, sometimes, in the dark, we get lost and unsure of what to do. As such, it becomes easier for us to give in to temptations and succumb to evil. It does not mean we are bad people, just good people in the shadow of darkness. But, instead of letting the vicious cycle continue, pause for a while. We need to realise, darkness is not the opposite of brightness; Darkness is the absence of light.

So, if we do not want to be in the dark anymore, we should turn on the light to cast out all the darkness. Indeed, this can easily be done by surrendering it all up to God and strengthening our relationship with him. He is our light and salvation.

It is God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ that has shone into our hearts to enlighten them with the knowledge of God’s glory, the glory on the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

I know it can’t be easily be done. We have to accept that we need help. We have to let go of who we used to be and allow Him to mould us into a new person. But, if we want to get out of the dark, the only way is to let the source our light shine through. And what better source than He who created light himself.

Indeed, He, as the Holy Spirit, is within each and everyone of us. If we allow Him, His power in us is greater than any force that comes against us. If you’ve allowed the enemy to hide you in the dark, today you can be free. Meditate on His promises and renew your faith in God. Conquer the darkness by making the choice to turn on the light.

tumblr_map1wf3wPa1qdaq7jo1_500Photo Credits: cleanheartsyou