As we get closer to Advent and the end of the liturgical year in the Church, I like to focus on the forgiveness aspect of rebuilding your life after divorce. It seems to be an insurmountable issue for many people. If you at least try, forgiveness can be a life-changing event. It can mean the difference between hiding out and waiting for the holidays to be over, and really, truly having a reason to celebrate and experience the joy of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. So, I’d like to share a personal story with you in hopes that it will better illustrate my point:
You probably remember the D.C. Sniper team from 10 years ago. It was a terrible time for citizens of that city, as well as for other victims in different states who where killed as the snipers made their way up the East Coast. I’ll never forget hearing the incredible statement a particular guest on FOX News gave one evening as I was making dinner.
The two suspects had been captured and were about to be charged. A FOX News show host happened to be interviewing the husband of one of the victims who had been killed in Alabama. The anchorman asked this man if he felt the death penalty was the right kind of justice to avenge his wife’s murder. His answer was, “No. I’d like to see them go to jail and be given the chance to be rehabilitated.”
The anchorman was incredulous and replied, “But sir, your wife was murdered by these two monsters. Don’t you think the punishment should fit the crime?”
The husband’s reply was simply, “I don’t need retribution. These guys should have the chance to make themselves right with God and go to heaven.” It was such a bold (and true) statement that I applauded right there in my own kitchen. It’s not often these days that we see such blatant examples of true Christianity.
We all have to forgive and we have to do it from our hearts. Deep hurts and wounded hearts need TLC, no doubt but in the end the best medicine for suffering due to injustice is forgiveness.
I hope that if there is anyone in your life who has hurt you and you are harboring resentment or anger toward them that you will consider asking God for the grace to forgive them. It will truly make a difference in your life and free you from the things that are holding you back.