Tag Archives: forgiveness

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

8 Mar

“Is all anger sin? No, but some of it is. Even God Himself has righteous anger against sin, injustice, rebellion and pettiness.”

Joyce Meyer

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Sunday is always a special day for me. A day to count my blessings and the wonderful people in my life. (You know who you are.) Also, a good day to watch Mass in my pajamas.

Gospel, John 2:13-25

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus going to the Temple in Jerusalem where He found people selling animals and doves, and there were money changers. Jesus was upset, making a whip and chasing out the offenders saying, “Take all this out of here and stop using my Father’s house as a market.”

“During his stay in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he did, but Jesus knew all people and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about anyone; he could tell what someone had within.”

My take on it… we never think that getting angry is justifiable, but even Jesus got angry on occasion. People tell you, don’t get mad, always forgive, or turn the other cheek. Some things are just not acceptable or forgivable. ( I’ve said this on many occasions.)

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A penny for your thoughts…

I was doing laundry today, and there at the bottom of the washer , I found a lucky penny. Now, you’re probably thinking that this is not so unusual. It may have been in a pocket of a shirt or pants. But, I was washing sheets and pillow cases. Weird, right? How did that penny get in there? Perhaps a sign. Lucky me.

And as always, the highlight of my evening, a little FaceTime with the cutest little faces in the whole wide world.

Lucky Gamma! ❤️❤️

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff~ Forgiveness

24 Feb

“Turning the other cheek isn’t submissive. It’s defiant.”

Roy H. Williams

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A glorious sunny day for my first Mass in our new St. Gabriel the Archangel church. Mary and I were positioned at the huge heavy doors on the right, and others were at the doors on the left. Interesting observation… although everyone walked up the center stairs, the majority of people entered on the right side. I momentarily flattered myself by thinking that it was because people wanted to say good morning to me and Mary. Then, it occurred to me that people are creatures of habit, and mostly right handed and right brained, thus entering on the right. Well, so much for flattery.

The huge heavy wooden doors were difficult to keep opening and closing. Mary joked and said that she and I would need to alternate pulling the doors open so as to strengthen both sides of our biceps, because we were getting a workout. I feel stronger already.

The service was beautiful and the bishop and several guest priests joined in officiating.

Today’s Gospel was the old familiar “turn the other cheek” story. Gosh, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? It goes on to tell us to love our enemies, forgive our debtors and those who have hurt us, be compassionate to all and do not judge, and treat others as you would like people to treat you.

Gospel, Luke 6:27-38

27 ‘But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

29 To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic…

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My take on it… as the quote says…

“Turning the other cheek isn’t submissive. It’s defiant.”

Roy H. Williams

I think you can turn the other cheek in defiance, BUT in my humble personal opinion, you can only turn your cheek so many times until it turns into abuse and cruelty. I don’t believe God wants anyone to be abused. Yes, stand up and show your strength by not flinching at the first slap, but then it’s time to walk away.

Yes, pray for your enemies and those who hurt you, but you don’t have to be a punching bag. You can loan money and be generous and forgive the debt, but you don’t have to let people rob you at gun point and say, “Thanks, anything else I can do for you?”

Now, here’s the part I have been struggling with for a LONG time…FORGIVE and you will be forgiven. I honestly pray for those who have hurt me, and I try to be kind and generous at all times, but to forgive everyone for anything?

We’ve had this discussion in our support group at church and I generally get a sideways look when we discuss forgiveness. When someone says God forgives everyone of all their sins no matter what, then I have to disagree. I do believe if you are sincerely sorry for something you have done, then God will forgive, and so would I. But, you can’t murder, steal, lie, cheat, betray, stab people in the back and harm others without remorse, and just spit in God’s face and expect all to be forgiven. Nope! Otherwise, why bother having commandments or rules or morals. Just take what you want and do as you please, all is forgiven. Who cares? Everyone goes to heaven, open doors, murder away. No, no, no! (You can tell this is a sore subject with me.) Sincere remorse or regret and asking for forgiveness is necessary. (Just my opinion.)

I’d love to hear your view or comments on the subject. Feel free to say what you think or blast me out of the water. “I’ll turn the other cheek.”

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

17 Sep

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” 

― Will Smith

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Another beautiful Sunday morning greeting parishioners at St. Gabriel’s. I actually remembered to wear my name tag today, and more and more people are saying, “Good morning, Toni.” I’ve been learning more names and giving out more hugs and handshakes,too. The new church building is coming along.


Today’s Gospel was another story about forgiveness. ( Is somebody up there trying to tell me something?) Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. 

Gospel MT 18:21-35

“Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.”

When the servant who owed a huge amount of money to the king begged for mercy and not to be sold, along with his wife, family and possessions, he begged… “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” The king forgave him his debt. Later, that same man came across a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money, and instead of forgiving the other man’s debt, he had him imprisoned. When the king heard this, he summoned the man and said, “You wicked servant!” And he asked why he couldn’t forgive his fellow servant a small debt after being begged, when he had forgiven his huge debt. The king was angry and had the man tortured.

My take on it…well, first of all, these Gospels lately have been hitting home. I’ve been working on this forgiveness chapter in my life, and I’ll admit, I’m not totally there yet. Here’s my dilemma. In all these verses and Gospel readings, someone is begging for forgiveness. And yes, we are told that God will forgive us anything if we ask Him. But, they ASK! I keep reading quotes and have people telling me that I need forgive,  even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness. You do it for yourself. I STILL DON’T GET IT! 

I had this discussion with friends just a few days ago. My philosophy is actions speak louder than words. I don’t have to say the words, “I forgive you,” and I still can go on with my life, without hate or anger, be the best person I can be, and have a good heart. But, unless I am asked to forgive someone or some offense, there’s no point saying the words. If they don’t even think they’ve done anything wrong or have harmed you in any way, there’s no point. It means nothing to them, so it means nothing to me.

If you ask God to forgive you, He will. That’s why He’s God and we’re just human. He knows what’s in your heart. I have asked God for forgiveness and strength, and I believe that has been granted. But, He also will NOT forgive an evil person with an evil heart. They will be punished.  Do you see the point now? You have to sincerely ask? You have to change your ways and change your heart. It’s not a free pass to do what you please.

Okay, now on a brighter note.🎼 After Mass, the Knights of Columbus had free donuts outside at a couple of tables. There was a small donation jar. I walked over, slightly tempted, as I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. But, I’m not a huge donut fan, even chocolate. So, I just put a dollar in the jar and said, “I’m saving the calories. Thanks for all you do.” Then, off I went to Sprouts.

Did I mention I was hungry? Uh oh! Sprouts had dark chocolate covered almonds on sale for ONLY $2.99 a pound. My downfall! That’s insane! I’m insane! I bought many pounds. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many. I’m glad I passed on the donuts.


But, before you judge me too harshly, I did buy some apples, peaches, green peppers, tomatoes, and blackberries. It looks like a lot, but I like to share with my friend, Miss Eleanor. She can’t get out to the store much.

It’s been a good Sunday. I’m going to post this and go out for a nice long walk. It’s still kinda hot out there, so I may have to stop for a beer if Mr. Larry’s garage is open. 

Here’s my sunset from last night…



Tuesday:) Tavern Talks, Forgiveness and Reconciliation

15 Mar

“Forgiving is not easy when you’re still hurting.” ― Ann Marie Aguilar

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Yesterday was the first Tavern Talk with Father Don. I noticed in the Saint Gabriel Sunday bulletin that Father would be at Delaney’s Irish Pub Monday night to talk about Reconciliation and forgiveness. No one was sure how many people would attend, and it was jam packed standing room only. How great!

Father Don explained the importance of Reconciliation, which us old Catholics still call Confession. It’s one of the sacraments that is often neglected, mostly because most people find it difficult to admit their faults and sins. But, the old adage, confession is good for the soul, does have its merit, especially during this Lenten season. There’s definitely something powerful about admitting your faults out loud, and more importantly, asking for forgiveness. 


After the presentation, Father opened up the forum for questions. There were some funny ones, meant to break the ice. One man asked, “Father, what’s the worst confession you ever heard?” Then, his friend, one of the many guys from the men’s club shouted out, “No, Father, don’t tell them that one.” Everyone laughed. There were several other more serious and interesting questions, and one in particular that I could relate to. I really appreciated the response. 
One woman asked, “What if you just can’t find it in your heart to forgive someone?” Father said that was a common question, and added that it is all part of being human.  When we are hurting and in pain, it is very difficult to forgive. It often takes a long time, and sometimes forgiveness never comes. Believe me, I know. As I said, I appreciated his response because Father shared these same words with me several years ago.

“If you recall, when Jesus was nailed to the cross and dying He said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'” Then Father went on to say, “Did you notice that He didn’t say, I forgive you? He asked His Father to forgive them. If you aren’t ready yet, if you are still in pain, ask God to forgive this person. Pray for that person.” That was such a good answer. I have leaned on that answer many, many times. 

I thought it was a funny coincidence that this same afternoon, I went with my neighbor to see the movie, “The Shack.” It also addressed the subject of extreme pain and the struggle to forgive. It was a double dose of a thought provoking day.

What I learned from both events was, that forgiving someone for an excruciating painful hurt may take a long time, or perhaps may never come. But, you keep going, and you keep praying that someday you can forgive. You don’t have to feel guilty or selfish or hateful. Take care of yourself. In the meantime, you can ask God to  forgive them. Keep praying for them. I do.


Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

21 Nov

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” ― Will Smith

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A chilly morning greeting before Mass, but I had my warm red coat on. It’s always warm and welcoming inside. 

Today’s Gospel was Luke 23:35-43. It was the story of the crucifixion, when people chided Jesus, saying if he really was the chosen one, he should save himself. Then, one criminal hanging next to Jesus defended him by saying, Jesus did nothing wrong, but he and the others were justly being  punished. He asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”He replied to him,“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

My take on it…genuine repentance will invoke genuine forgiveness. At least from Jesus.

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With the cooler weather, it’s finally starting to feel more like Thanksgiving, with the holidays soon behind. As I went for my walk through the neighborhood, dozens of garage doors were open, and people were out on ladders putting up Christmas lights. Kids were in the park throwing the football around, and families were walking dogs or pushing strollers. It was like the cool temperature was a magical elixir. The sunset was a painting waiting to be captured.


I was so inspired that I decided to clean out the freezer, rearrange and reorganize the overflowing mess, and throw out those ancient freeze dried crusty antiques hidden under the ice cream.

The amazing thing is, there is actually a teeny tiny empty space left on one of the shelves. Now, I don’t have to wear a helmet or steel toed shoes when I open the freezer door. So many times, when I’d open the door, frozen packages would land on my toes or whack me in the head when I leaned in to reach for my chocolate ice cream.


It was a good day. Happy Sunday!

Sunday Sermon and Forgiveness

16 Jun

“I will never forget what you did to me. I will never forgive it. I will never stop mourning what you stole from me. But I realize now I can’t steal it back and I’m done spending every day trying to.”
― Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility
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This morning at 9 o’clock Mass, Father reminded us that it was Trinity Sunday. I forgot about that. Mom was born on Trinity Sunday, 87 years ago, (or there abouts) thus her name, Trinidad, Trini for short. So, my ears perked up and I listened closely to all the sermons.

Our visiting priest also acknowledged Father’s Day and the many fathers who give so much physical and moral support to their families. He told a story about a family that was going through a very tough time. The dad had been struggling with alcoholism, gambling, and infidelity. It took a lot of courage and faith, but the man begged his wife and family for help and forgiveness. His wife never left his side, forgave him, and they worked through it all the hardships together, trusting in God and each other. Happy ending.

I looked around the church and saw all the happy families, families with small children, older couples holding hands, teen-agers, and single people. What they all had in common was faith, respect, and sense of community. That’s why they were there. That’s why I was there.

I often contemplate my faith and the words of the Sunday sermon, and today’s story made me think long and hard about forgiveness. I’ve read so many thoughts and quotes about forgiveness, and I have been struggling with it. This is what I came to realize today. It’s difficult or even impossible to forgive someone who is NOT sorry for what they did. I believe God forgives all those who are truly repentant, but even God will not forgive those who don’t care, don’t ask for forgiveness, and continue their evil ways. (Me neither.) That’s what that very hot place below is for.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep working on it. I have a lot of faith, support and prayers on my side. Someday?