Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prayer: "Forgive Them" by John Kavanaugh in "Consoled by Christ"

You who have had a child turn on you; who once had close friends, now lost or grown distant; who have loved or wished to be loved: Have you suffered?

Think of our God not as “prime mover,” but as God who brought forth life, called men and women into friendship, loved us first and desire our love in return.

If you made this world and looked over it from beginning to end, looked at all the places ever inhabited with all the people who had lived and died: Would you suffer? If you made freedom and conceived of human liberty, and you look at what it has made possible – the heights of nobility as well as the depth of depravity – Would you suffer? Would you think your work had mocked you? Would you think it had all been in vain? Would you reject humanity for all the evils humans have done? Would you condemn them, even as they dash your dreams and wish away your life?

We may think that Jesus’ words of forgiveness from the cross are simply signs of his large-heartedness before his persecutors. We may realize that his forgiveness extends to all of us. But what might be more wonderful is to realize that his words are a call to us not only to embrace his cross, but to emulate his forgiveness. He told us to forgive seventy times seven, taught us to ask and give forgiveness in our every prayer, meant it.

It is not easy to forgive, especially when forgiveness is not even requested. Still more difficult when the one who injures us does not acknowledge the wound. But in these words from the cross we discover not only the eternal willingness of God to forgive us, we also discover that when we ourselves forgive, we are most like Our Lord. And most Godly.