At the age of 14, Rosario Rodriguez narrowly escaped an attack by a serial rapist and murderer near her Grand Rapids, Michigan home. During an interview on Christopher Closeup, Rodriguez said of the attack’s aftermath, “I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety. The depression was the hardest thing—and trying to figure out my self-worth. I felt like I was treated like trash, so therefore I must be trash.”
Rodriguez started seeing a therapist who would pray with her at the beginning and end of every session. He was able to talk her through her emotions in a way that led to actual healing. In addition, she went to her parish priest for counseling. He encouraged her to pray for her attacker, and to speak the words “I forgive him” even if she didn’t feel like it.
Rodriguez explained, “It didn’t happen right away, but . . . I did pray for him. When I got to that place where I experienced healing, I was able to forgive. And when I let go of that rage and bitterness, I experienced so much peace, so much joy, it was an amazing freedom that I didn’t think I would ever have again.”
Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)
Grant me the freedom of forgiveness, Jesus.