We've all heard of optimists and pessimists being described as seeing the glass 'half-full' or 'half-empty'. I think there is a third category of people, far beyond the pessimist, who can't see the glass at all. Those whose thoughts are so distorted and dark that they are unable to recognize good when they see it. Those who cart around grievances, hurts and slights with the ease and dexterity of a professional mover.
I lived in the suburbs of that dark city for a long, long while. I moved there bit by bit each time I had an opportunity to forgive and said, 'yeah right'. I didn't know how to forgive and had not the slightest interest in learning how. I'd been forgiven in a beautiful, generous and complete way but I never recognized that's what it was. I'd discarded friends and family who, in my mind, crossed uncrossable lines. The most recent casualties were a couple of my sisters. They resided in the discard pile for nearly a decade. Twice, one of them offered a olive branch. Twice, I scoffed and rejected it. Oh, I knew that not forgiving was wrong. The part of the Our Father that talks about being forgiven as we forgive poked at me. I didn't know how to move out and didn't really have the desire. Sometimes I'd half-heartedly ask for the desire to forgive but it was a weak prayer.
I eventually was booted out the dark land and I'm not sure how. I know it was not my doing. I believe it was through the intercession of my guardian angel and praying the divine mercy chaplet that the incredible Mercy of our Lord Jesus worked a miracle in my heart. I am not using the word miracle lightly nor in a joking manner. I have no other explanation for what happened other than that. I truly believe that it was a miracle.
I finally saw there was a glass. I finally learned how to forgive and how to ask for forgiveness. Well, I'm still learning but I want to forgive and quickly. I learned that there are many sides to a story and I didn't own all the hurt. I've come to recognize that the story I tell myself isn't necessarily a true one; that I color in all kinds of untrue details instead of looking at just what I know.
This post may come across as overly dramatic but it was a dramatic change that Jesus wrought. It was His doing and His Mercy. All the old, ugly feelings and hurts are gone. Gone. Nothing bubbles up or lurks beneath the surface. It is really and truly gone. If that is not miraculous, I don't know what is. I was and am reconciled with my sisters. From as fractured as we were, we've come a long way. We have a long way to go.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Please intercede for those who struggle with letting go of ancient history and forgiveness. Grant us peace, through your Son Jesus. Amen
For your St. Patrick’s Day viewing pleasure
1 week ago