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Making Sense of Non-Sense

FORGIVEN, FORGIVING
September 13, 2020
Triumph of the Cross
September 14, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Making Sense of Non-Sense
 
Loving enemies is indeed difficult. How can you forgive
someone who continues to hurt and insult you? It is easier said than done. But God will never ask us something that will not benefit us. In the end, it is still for us – for our benefit, for our sanity and happiness. And yet, our limited understanding cannot fully understand the logic of loving our enemies. To forgive someone is indeed totally non-sense to those who are hurting the most.
 
But in order to learn something new but true, I remember what Master Jedi Yoda of Star Wars said, “You must unlearn what you have learned. You will know good from the bad when you are calm, at peace, and passive.”
 
Now, for the sake of argument, let’s look at the five benefits of forgiveness and non-forgiveness. Compare the pros and cons and reflect.
 
THE 5 BENEFITS OF NON-FORGIVENESS:
 
1. PAIN WILL PERSIST. I will still be in pain. I am trapped with my pain and it will linger for the rest of my life. My enemies brought this suffering. They should be in pain, not me! But when the evening comes, I cannot sleep. He can. That’s not fair! Or I am unfair to myself – for keeping that negative baggage?
 
2. HATRED COMES IN. Slowly the pain starts to transform to anger … then to deeply seated anger. When I think of my enemies, I am drained. They suck out all my positive energy. I lose my composure. I destroy my day. I lose my peace. As Yoda said, “Anger leads to hate and hate to suffering.” It’s unfair!
 
3. REVENGE. I start cursing the person. Thinking ill-feelings against him at every moment. I find myself entering into my own darkness. I start moving away from God. I am not praying anymore. I start entertaining thoughts of revenge. Start making “little plans to get back.” I become like my enemies. Greed to get revenge and to hurt comes in. Love disappears from my life. I become like my enemies.
 
Why should I allow them to control my life? They may have hurt me, but I will not allow them to take away my dignity, peace, and sanity. I DECIDE TO GIVE JUSTICE TO MYSELF.
 
4. CREATED HELL. I find myself creating my own personal hell. I am not happy anymore. I lose God along the way. I am eternally in pain and deeply wounded. It’s total darkness. I lose my sense of direction. Hope becomes blighted. This is unfair.
 
5. YOU CAN GET SICK. No need to explain. You know what I mean.
 
THE 5 BENEFITS OF FORGIVENESS:
 
1. PAIN PERSISTS BUT IS MANAGEABLE. The pain will still be there. But now I am in control. I can decide whether to allow pain to dominate my life or I can stop it. I know God will heal me. I DECIDE TO BE FAIR TO MYSELF.
 
2. PEACE COMES IN. When I forgive someone, I realize that I am the first beneficiary. I am free from further hurt, anger, and resentment … if not fully, at least I reduce the effect of pain inflicted on me. I DECIDE TO LOVE MYSELF.
 
3. I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE. Yes, my enemies may still hurt me. But I can now decide whether to allow them to dominate my life with anger, resentment, and hatred … or to let go and move on.
 
4. I AM FREE. I will still be in pain. But my negative emotions will never dominate my heart anymore. I allow God to enter into my life and give me peace. I need to help myself. The antidote against my enemies is not vengeance but forgiveness, for I don’t want to become like them. I am a child of God. I am not the child of the evil spirit. I DECIDE TO BE HAPPY.
 
5. DOING GOD’S WILL. God is happy with you. It is a sign that I love God. As Jesus said, “For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are you doing anything exceptional? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48).
 
Read, pray over and reflect on our gospel for today.
 
“You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:47).
 
What struck you most in our gospel reading? Why? Who are your enemies? Recall an incident when someone offended you. What did you feel? What did you feel when you decided not to forgive the person? Or what did you feel when you decided to forgive him?
 
– Pitik-Bulag
 
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Taken from the Book “Pitik-Bulag: Pockets of Graces”
by Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson

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