“This outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us…”(CCC # 2840).
This Sunday we celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday. The Church calls us to meditate on the gratitude of God’s gracious mercy shown to us and we should look sincerely at the mercy that we show to others. Our God is a God of mercy.
3 Ways to Practice Forgiveness:
The English poet Alexander Pope stated: “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Following are three short and concrete suggestions to help us on the pathway to forgiveness and mercy!
1. Beg for the Grace. To forgive our enemies, to pray for them and to love them goes far beyond our fallen human nature. We desperately need God’s overflowing and abundant grace. Saint Augustine says that we are all beggars before God. Therefore, we should beg for the grace to forgive. God will not deny us this noble petition.
2. Forgive Immediately. When we are offended, often the devil works on us right away fostering in our minds thoughts of revenge. Therefore, if we respond to God’s grace of mercy and forgive immediately there is a very good chance that the victory is ours. Be quick to reject unkind thoughts and be quicker still to forgive!
3. Mercy is a Two-Way Street. Remember that receiving God’s mercy is not a dead-end but rather a two-way street. Jesus said: “Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful… and forgive…” (Lk 6:36). Therefore, if we want to experience God’s infinite mercy in our lives, we must extend our hand in forgiveness towards those who have offended us. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us the same lesson: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those …..”
Jesus told Saint Faustina that He desires that we practice at least one act of mercy every day. He specified that mercy can be carried out in any of these three manners:
1) by kind words
2) by kind deeds
3) by prayer