Let’s tap St. Anthony on the shoulder for some more monkish musings:
St. Anthony, you were once almost poisoned by a heretic. And I am sure that you had other occasions to forgive people in your lifetime. Can you help us with the issue of forgiveness?
“To truly forgive is probably one of the most difficult pieces of our faith, and yet it is the one piece that is an imperative: ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. We cannot be forgiven unless we forgive!
“I had two close friends who once got into an argument – since they both knew that I was aware of the situation, I addressed them accordingly: ‘Brothers, you must forgive one another.’ ‘What???’ shouted my one friend, ‘Why do I need to be forgiven?? – It is he who wronged me!’ ‘My brother, I responded, ‘the important thing is to bring forgiveness into the situation – it is not important who needs to forgive who. Just allow forgiveness in, and let God worry about the particulars.’
“I still stand by that comment today. God offers us absolution when we forgive others or ask for forgiveness, and then healing takes place within our own soul. That is why the sacrament of Reconciliation is so powerful. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation, and it’s a cornerstone of our faith. When you let forgiveness in, you let God in…”
St. Anthony, pray for us!