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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You too. God bless.

It was a long day of fun-filled adventures today! Little India food tripping, board games  shopping, board games playing (duh?!) and bridge, and visiting the magical world of Incanto! 🙂

However, at the end of the day, I was super exhausted that I was just begging for a chance to sit on my way home. Unfortunately,  as everyone rushes home, the train was super crowded so I had to stand. Hence, I stood in the middle of the carriage, between the rows of seats, in anticipation of someone alighting soon.

Fortunately, a few stops later, a couple in front of me alighted. However, instead of sitting down, I offered it to a 55-year old lady who was carrying a couple of bags. She sheepishly sat and continued to offer me the other seat. I said, “It’s okay. Seems like other people are more tired than me anyway.” Within a split second, other people simply took the seat.

The lady, then told me and my friend, “Next time you want to buy health supplements, come to my shop at Novena Gardens.” She fumbled around for some brochures and continued to explain to us what she sells. In the middle of a crowded train on long tiring weekday, I bet people were judging us and wondering why two young people are talking so loudly with an auntie. Nonetheless, I continued talking to her, engaging her in the conversation. I asked for her name (Ruth) and she asked me mine. I even asked whether she’s in the shop everyday so that I can bring my mom to “see-see.” It was heart-warming to see her excitedly talking about the products she sells as though it was the beginning of her day and I was her first customer. (Remember, we are still in the middle of the train at 1030pm).

Eventually, she told me, “I don’t offer this to everyone but since you have such a good heart and you let me sit, when you come and visit, I give you 15% discount, ok? Actually now got discount but if next time you come, I give you my member discount and points.” In addition, she shared to me how she like selling the health products (because she used it previously too) . She said, “now, that I’m 55 (that’s how I got her age), I want to help young people especially good-hearted ones like you to take care before it’s too late. Before your body pain here there, must take care, ok?”

Isn’t that just so touching?  It didn’t take too much effort for me to offer a seat, neither did it take her too much effort to offer a discount. Yet, the act of charity was exhibited there and then, between two strangers, in the fullest sense of the word.

Then, when we finally reached my destination, I told her, “I have to go now but see you okay? You take care. (big smile)” And, she said, “You too. God bless! (even bigger smile)” <—goosebumps moment right there!!!

Then, as I walk out the train doors, a huge wave of relief and happiness filled me.

Learning from the prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10), I have been asking Him to “expand my territory.” In other words, I was asking him to send me someone who needs my help every now and then so that I can spread His love and glorify His name.

And, as I walk away, I knew that was my prayer being granted. That was Him blessing me with a “territory.” And, looking back, He has been giving me someone to help (or touch their lives) in the simplest smallest ways, every single day this week.

Today, as that woman told me “God bless,” I knew that it was God himself  blessing me at that point in time. Amen. (:

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Photo Credits: cleanheartsyou

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

Showing your faith through charity

“As it is, these remain: faith, hope and charity, the three of them; and the greatest of them is charity.” – 1 Corinthians 13

Subsequently, “believing in charity calls forth charity.” If one really believes in God, it should manifest in their actions. Their actions should show love and grace just as how He loves us. “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16), I observed that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction … Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere ‘command’; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us” (Deus Caritas Est, 1).

And, if we are able to give charity to everyone and anyone around us, that is the greatest work of evangelization. No words and preaching can be much stronger than actually extending out charity to spread His love and glorify His name. We need to continuously reach out to those who continue to grow in faith, to those who yet to accept the faith, and to those who are distanced from the faith and the church. Set your life as an example. Open up to those who feel left out. Understand those who need support. Listen to those crying on their own. And with every act of charity we commit, we improve upon the faith of the church but within us and beyond us. Isn’t that just wonderful?

To spread charity, we need to things: to stay connected to the church and to be courageous and bold.

If you think you are not ready yet, perhaps, it is time to strengthen your relationship with God. Because if you truly open up to Him and establish a close relationship with Him, I’m certain that you will be so touched that you would want to share the good news with others. You would want others to experience what you have. You would want others to feel His mercy, love and grace too.

Now, it will be scary so you have to be bold. People will question you. You will be like sheep being sent to the wolves. But, spread the good news of the Lord either way. As written in Sirach 34:16, “Those who fear the Lord will not be timid.”

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Photo Credit: Prowriting Aid

Elizabeth Gilbert Once Said,

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.

Date a pisces girl.

It will not be difficult for you to spot a Pisces girl in a crowd. She will be the one beaming with a huge smile and talking to a huge crowd. It will not be difficult for you to strike a conversation with her either. You won’t even need to come up with a pick up line. Since a Pisces girl tends to be a social butterfly, she can easily talk to anyone. And once you have started talking to her, it will be very difficult to stop. She never runs out of things to talk about. She appreciates every single thing in life that she will tell you things about the world you have never even noticed. And even after talking to her for hours, months, and years, she will always have something up her sleeve that she would never ceasing to amaze you.

You won’t have to worry on where to bring a Pisces girl for a date. She is always ready to try out something new and interesting plus, she can easily blend in anywhere. All that matters to her is being with you and having fun. You also won’t need to shower a Pisces girl with extravagant gifts. She ignores brand names and prefers gifts with meanings. She won’t even want you to explicitly say “I love you” all the time. Because, for her, just the sincerity of small caring actions, random thoughts on post-it notes, and the fact that you try to spend time with her will already show how much you care. In fact, don’t be surprised when SHE showers you with these things. Because, emotions drive her creativity skills and that is how SHE shows she cares. She’s a giver; not a taker. But, she does love feeling appreciated (and not being taken for granted.)

However, do not be worried when you feel that she is not opening up to you as much at first. Pisces girls take time to trust and put their cards down. But, when she does, you will know that it is true and real and that it really comes from the heart. Nevertheless, open up to her. She won’t ever judge. She is simply the type of girl who will listen to your whole life story just to try to understand where you are coming from. But, please do not play mind games with a Pisces girl. Her logical and emotional sides will think through it a lot. And if she’s wrong, she will just get hurt. When, in fact, she will always accept you by just being who you are. She’s the type of girl who will hold your hand in public even when you are covered in mud because she will respect you for who you are-including your deep dark secrets and imperfections. She will, most probably, even help you carry your emotional baggage.

The beauty about being with a Pisces girl is that she will also be your best friend. Eventually, you won’t even have to say anything to her. Because, one look at you and she’ll know how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. She’s the one who’ll know if something is wrong even if you walk into the room with a huge smile on your face. And if she’s unsure, when you speak, she would listen to the feeling behind the words instead of the words itself. (So, sometimes, please pardon her when she gives absent-minded comments.) But, whatever it is, she will always be there to care for you and comfort you through the night.

A Pisces girl always overflows with optimism and zeal. She can get completely lost in sex, romance, or chasing her dreams. So, being around her will make you feel like you can do anything in the world, especially when you do it together. She will always encourage you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams-even if it that means letting you go or allowing you to undergo destructive behaviours. Also, sometimes, you may have to remind her that she can’t always be helping everyone. A Pisces girl tends to be so generous and giving to you and her friends that, at times, she might overlook her own needs.

With a Pisces girl, you WILL always feel like you are the one wearing the pants in the relationship because, that is how she would want you to be. She would be submissive to you and let you protect her and take care of her. Since her “two fishes” are always swimming in different directions, she often feels like she is being pulled in different directions. As such, she would want you to help her in making decisions.

However, you do not have to worry about a Pisces girl being clingy. She understands how people need their personal space because she, herself, is like a fish: she usually goes with the flow yet she needs to swim around and, sometimes, spontaneously jump out of the surface. She understands how the feeling of being wanted is better than being needed; need smothers, want brings you closer. In fact, a Piscean’s greatest fear is becoming a burden to others. She doesn’t hold grudges and she also won’t go around looking for fights. She would rather lose an argument and have both of you happy than prove that she’s right-even when she is.

Date a Pisces girl because it won’t take so much effort. She can easily be happy just by making YOU happy. (:

Details credits to Google and @PiscesAreUs on twitter.