Mercy and Forgiveness
“To evangelize, therefore, it is necessary to open ourselves once again to the horizon of God’s Spirit, without being afraid of what he asks us or of where he leads us….
Spreading the Gospel means that we are the first to proclaim and live the reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity, and love that the Holy Spirit gives us.” Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy
Pope Francis makes clear that this Year of Mercy is a call to forgiveness of ourselves and others, especially those whom we find most difficult. The following are reflections on mercy and forgiveness.
“In this exchange of prayerful hopes for peace and forgiveness in all our lives, Rochesterian Gloria Ulterino, responds to the journal entries of Etty (Esther) Hillesum, a Dutch Jew, killed in November 1943 in Auschwitz, when Gloria was just a toddler. Etty’s words ring true today, and remind us all that we have the capacity to find happiness is suffering and to forgive even the most inhumane actions. As Etty put it, “hatred of Germans poisons everyone’s mind… A few weeks ago, I had a liberating thought that surfaced in me like a hesitant, tender young blade of grass thrusting its way through a wilderness of weeds: if there were only one decent German, then he should be cherished despite that whole barbaric gang, and because of that one decent German it is wrong to pour hatred over an entire people.” Read entire essay
A Story Of Forgiveness The Woman Caught In Adultery by Gloria Ulterino
In this excerpt from her book, Walking With Wisdom’s Daughters, Gloria Ulterino recounts the Gospel story of the woman caught in adultery and then allows that woman, touched by Jesus’ mercy, to reflect on her experience: “Here, at dawn, it’s hard for me to remember that there ever was a time when I lived in the shadows, cowering under someone else’s control. For that heart strength of Jesus becomes mine, right here and right now. Even as I re-live, once again, that day I’ll never forget. Clamoring crowds surge toward me… pilgrims there for the Feast of Booths. Arrogant scribes and Pharisees shove me toward Jesus! And I am once again on trial! Or so I think…” Read entire essay
This is a brief reflection on forgiveness by Deirdre McKiernan Hetzler.