Friends of Mother Marie-Leonie
As we forgive
Mt 18:23-35: The reign of God may be said to be like a king who decided to settle accounts with his officials. When he began his auditing, one was brought in who owed him a huge amount. As he had no way of paying it, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that the official prostrated himself in homage and said, “My lord, be patient with me and I will pay you back in full.” Moved with pity, the master let the official go and wrote off the debt. But when that same official went out he met a fellow servant who owed him a mere fraction of what he himself owed. He seized him and throttled him. “Pay back what you owe,” he demanded. His fellow servant dropped to his knees and began to plead with him, “Just give me time, and I will pay you back in full.” But he would hear none of it. Instead, he had him put in jail until he paid back what he owed. When his fellow servants saw what had happened they were badly shaken, and went to their master to report the whole incident. His master sent for him and said, “You worthless wretch! I canceled your entire debt when you pleaded with me. Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?” Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.
A Mother who was “All heart”: Pages 25-26
There were also difficulties related to community life with some of her sisters of the orphanage. She once confided the following facts: “When I was in New York, in a beautiful boarding school, I suffered a great deal from some of my companions. They were jealous of me, they even made all sorts of slandering reports against me… I had it up to my neck. One night, after bedtime, I went to the chapel and poured out my heart; I wept like a child. I said to God: ‘What shall I do? Have pity on me.’ Then I heard a voice saying: ‘I suffered more than that and I had not deserved it. Take courage!’ I thought I heard it so clearly that I was stunned. I went out of the chapel feeling quite differently from when I had come in.”
God is always ready to help us forgive because he knows that without his help it is impossible for us to live free without guilt, resentment, rejection and closure. Thanks to our faith in him and with his grace everything is possible. It is necessary to improve our forgiveness because we ask God to forgive us as we forgive.
A daily practice: Forgive from the bottom of our heart, only love can do this.
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