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Forgive - and Give Someone the Best Christmas Gift of All!

December 02, 2016

Forgiveness was a constant and on-going theme in Mary MacKillop's writings. From her earliest days as a young leader of her Sisters, and throughout her life, she implored them to let go of 'old sores' - hurts and gripes - and continually reminded them that nobody is perfect!   

In 1873, as a 31 year-old, her plea to her Sisters was:

Be full of forgiveness, hope and love.

Her message was the same almost two decades later:

Let us show love in our actions, bearing with one another, forgiving and forgetting. (1890)

Mary humbly admitted that there were times when her own words or actions may have caused pain for others:

Forgive me everything I have done to pain or disappoint any one of you. (1881)

Forgiveness is also a theme that is threaded through the writings of Pope Francis. In a document written to mark the conclusion of the Year of Mercy, he expressed his belief in the transformative power of forgiveness.

“Mercy is a concrete action of love that, by forgiving, transforms and changes our lives...

Mercy gives rise to joy, because our hearts are opened to the hope of a new life.

The joy of forgiveness is inexpressible, yet it radiates all around us whenever we experience forgiveness…”

November 20, 2016

Visio Divina ...

Spend a few minutes gazing at this image ...

How does it connect with these words of Mary and Francis?

  • Recall times when you have been forgiven … Can you remember how this changed your life?
  • Recall times when have you reached out and forgiven … Can you remember the joy this generated— and radiated?
  • Is there anyone who needs your forgiveness this Christmas? ... Can you forgive, and thereby give the best Christmas gift of all?

You may wish to share your insight/s and reflections with a trusted friend, or record your thoughts in your journal.

Image and Reflection: Mary Ryan rsj - CentreWest Region