A Catechism Lesson: Forgiving "As" Jesus Did

Hard as it seems, we really are to live and love like Jesus did. And God's Spirit supplies the grace so that we may forgive others. Forgiveness practiced day-to-day is a radical approach to life and love.

The Catechism teaches that in the depths of the heart, everything is bound and loosed [Cf. Mt. 18:23-35]. It suggests three steps in the progression from hurt to healing:

[1] It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense;
[2] but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and
[3] purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession.

(Adapted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2843.)

Said another way: I don't have to be ruled by hurt. I can offer to the Lord—who wants all of me—even my deepest miseries and hurts. And slowly, the injury becomes compassion. In letting go, through prayer and action, the Holy Spirit can actually heal my memories and transform my hurts into something holy and good: intercession for others.

This kind of radical prayer extends forgiveness even to our enemies, AS Christ did. This kind of prayer "transfigures the disciple by configuring him to his Master" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2844).

And that's what ongoing conversion is all about.

3/30/2011 4:00:00 AM