In his book That Your Joy May Be Full, Father John Catoir, former Director of The Christophers, shares a story about Catherine Marshall, author of the best-seller Christy. She and her husband decided to make a concerted effort to practice forgiveness the way Jesus called us to.
Each day, they wrote down any grievance they had against anybody, read those grievances aloud, forgave the persons involved, then destroyed the papers. The practice, they found, helped cleanse them of resentment.
Father Catoir writes, “Why do so many people devoted to Christ miss the importance of a forgiving heart? If you have a flood in the basement, it is far wiser to turn off the water before you begin bailing out. The same with prayer. Lots of good people pray, but they feel justified and self-righteous about their grudges. If you’ve been abused by someone, only you can understand how much it hurts, but the Lord asks you to forgive, even if forgiveness offends your sense of justice….If we do, our lives will be enriched, our prayer will be more fruitful, our peace will be restored, and our joy will be deepened.”
Pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
Lead my heart to forgiveness, Merciful Savior.