The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds


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Have you ever noticed that we talk about grudges the way we talk about babies? For instance, you can hold a grudge, bear a grudge or nurse a grudge. The problem we have is when you nurse something, you usually feed it to make it stronger and very soon you find out it is fully grown. Are we all carrying a grudge of some sort? If so why? As it doesnít make any sense. Why would we pick up something each day that weighs us down and then carry it about with us all day. If you ask people why they carry grudges, sometimes even against their best friends, the most common answer given is, ďThat they said or did something very hurtful.Ē Yes, in some cases this is probably true, but by carrying on a grudge, we enable them to keep on hurting us, that is why we must learn to forgive. We all know we are called upon to forgive others, because Jesus told us, but sometimes forgiveness can feel like we are losing the battle against those who caused us such hurt.

Abraham Lincoln once told a fascinating story about a man who had been badly wounded in battle and whilst lying on his sick bed he was told by doctors that he didnít have much time to live. He summoned to his bedside an old friend, with whom he had quarrelled bitterly over the love of a woman and they hadnít spoken to each other for years. The dying man took hold of his friends hand and told him that he was going to die soon and in the face of death, their petty differences didnít seem to matter anymore. He asked if he would forgive him so they might be reconciled, then his friend clasped the dying man and together they embraced. This scene moved everyone in the room to tears, but as his friend stood up to leave, the dying man raised himself up on one elbow and said in a weak voice, ďBut see here! If I donít die as predicted and I manage to recover, Iíll still never speak to you again.Ē

We may all smile, but if we donít practice real forgiveness, are we any different?

A wrongdoer is often a person who has left something undone and not always one who has done something wrong. The mind is often slow at unlearning what it has been a long time in learning.

Published Sat 19th Mar 2016 14:27:22
Last Modified on Sat 19th Mar 2016 14:31:04

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