Our Lenten journey is almost over. This Lent, I decided to focus on removing resentments weighing heavily on my heart.
We have all experienced pain and suffering through another's words or actions, which harbors a great deal of pain, anger, resentment, and a strong desire for retaliation. The only way to heal is through forgiveness, and the only way to forgive is not by just saying, "I forgive," but by including our offenders in prayer. We should first ask God to give us the love, compassion, and humility to forgive, then ask that He be merciful to our offenders and bring light to their darkened hearts.
I recall an "AHA" moment from my priest's homily a few years ago. He said we might not necessarily understand the reason our offenders choose to hurt us, but God does. He knows them as well as He knows us. Just as we should not waste our time plotting a way to get even, we should not waste our time trying to figure out the why's. All He wants us to do is follow His word and "forgive thine, enemy," and let Him take care of the rest.
In a nutshell: The motive for those causing us harm is not our business; it's God's. Passing judgment on their actions is not our job; it's God's. Our business is to pray for that person; our job is to forgive ... and move on. God gave all of us a set amount of time on this earth, and harboring pain, anger, and resentment takes away precious moments that can be used for the good He created us to do.
Have a Blessed Holy Week!