Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary

Good morning. To love is to forgive knowing we will be offended again. This is what we are called to. As Jesus reminds us in today’s Gospel we are called to forgive “not seven times but seventy-seven times.” He is asking a great deal of us; yet not to forgive is to imprison ourselves from moving-on and living to appreciate the fullness of the love we have to offer each other. Forgiveness in marriage means instead of focusing on what draws us apart we look to what brings us together. This is not always easy, but our Lord stands at the ready to shower us with whatever grace it takes for us to be merciful and loving. 

Sometimes it is easier to forgive when we look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes seeing it as something I too might do helps. A very simple way to adjust our perspective of things is to see the situation from the perspective of “Just like me.” It helps to view the hurt or offense by adding to our assessment of the offense the statement “just like me.” For example, “my spouse is stubborn, just like me.”

To forgive is the opposite of what we want to do. When we forgive we let go of all resentment and we let go of our urge to seek revenge, no matter how deserving of these things our partner may be. We instead offer our acceptance and love. On this Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary we need to remind ourselves of his words: “Be humble in this life that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone uncontrollably.” We should look to the life of Saint Stephen and all the saints toward better learning to forgive. Our Lord forgives us time and time again, and we are called to do the same. In marriage we are called to forgive time and time again, just as our Lord forgives us daily. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves; it is a choice we make to set ourselves free to love as we choose to love. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Stephen of Hungary.

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