September 2005 (Vol. XVIII, No. 8)
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Warm wishes, dear friends! In the blessed silence of prayer and meditation, inklings of a forgiveness not given, a resentment closely held, may well up. To recognize and heed such an impediment to wholeness through the eyes of Love can be a prod and catalyst for a humble step toward healing. For, as we forgive othrs, we find forgiveness for ourselves.
We nourish our souls when we continue to plant seeds of love wherever we go. When we let go of our negative thoughts and forgive ourselves and other people, that's like taking the weeds out of the garden and letting love blossom.
When two persons want reconciliation through forgiveness, the whole cosmos is involved, and the energy springing from forgiveness is released for other forms of service. Forgiveness releases love for service. Forgiveness makes possible a deeper communication than that which existed before. One can begin to see another reason why forgiveness is so important. Its importance is on the scale of evolution and it springs from the Creator of evolution. It invariably releases love , and love is the energy of creation.
When I have forgiven myself and remembered who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see.
Choice is your greatest power ... even a greater power than love, because you must first choose to be a loving person. Take the example of someone apologizing to you for having spoken thoughtlessly or hurtfully. In that one instant the power of transformation rests entirely with you. You can gtranscend the density of your anger and choose to forgive, transmuting that instant into an exchange that restores energy to both of you. Or you can repress your divine nature and cause the potential opportunity for healing to become a contaminated energy transaction.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. The one who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude.
To become a teacher of Love, we need only be willing to hear Love's Voice and no other. Our responsibility is to let fear and guilt be undone in us, so that this Voice is clear within us. The light of heaven stands behind the veil of unforgiveness that we have drawn between ourselves and others; a dhadow waiting for forgiveness to remove it at last. The light of God is then freed to shine through the heart and extend out into the world.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot.
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast.
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.
I used to think that forgiveness was a one-time and final act -- in one moment the pain subsides, and I say "I forgive," and it is over. But I have found that another day hidden memories spring forward from deep recesses of the mind and soul, and I must forgive again ... an ongoing project of the human soul.
Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.
The marrow of who I am
is a tree struck by lightning
of anger and sadness, shattering
heartwood upon the earth.
The marrow of who I am
is made by the only Mother
who stands simply at each and every door,
listening to love's undying cry
melt into her very heart.
The marrow of who I am
is always creating new blood,
a life innocent to this world,
safe in the mystery of forgivenesses home.
Love is the emotional and spiritual energy that ties you to those who have hurt you. The issues that seem to defy forgiveness are always aligned in some way with love: the love you never received, the love that you offered and others rejected or betrayed, the love that was used to manipulate or control you. Love is the basis of your life's well-being, but in tying your spiritual energy reserves to old hurts you are severely limiting the energy of lovfe available to you in the present moment. Perhaps this is the time to search your heart for those you still need to forgive more fully.
Unfortunately, change and forgiveness do not come easily for me, but ANY willingness to let go inevitably comes from pain; and the desire to change and forgive changes you, and jiggles the spirit, gets to it somehow, to the deepest, hardest, most ruined parts. And then Spirit expands, because that is its nature, and it brings along the body, and finally, the mind.
In 1979 Mother Antonia started a tradition in the prison which she calls the Day of Forgiveness: her protest agains the eye-for-an-eye logic that dominates prison culture. She believes forgiveness is far more effective than any punishment at controlling all the hate and homicide.
"Forgiveness is hard," she says, "but not forgiving is harder. Unforgiveness will age me, it will make me sick, and it will make me ugly. Nothing can bring me so low that I'm goijng to not forgive somebvoedy and destroy myself. Because that's what unforgiveness does. It's a boomerang that comes back."
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