3 O'Clock Prayer

Forgiveness The Path to Peace Image

Christ’s injunction to forgive seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22) seems to lack grounds for survival in our present world. This is based on the fact that recent happenings have shown that people are more inclined to the old Mosaic law that asks an “eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth”.

The spirit of grudge, revenge and retaliation is gradually becoming an acceptable standard among individuals, groups, States and nations, to the detriment of the spirit of forgiveness. However, forgiveness is the miraculous ingredient that assures harmony, love and a life without contention. Without understanding and forgiveness, there is bound to be dissension, followed by lack of harmony, which breeds hatred among people.

The current plight in the world is that of anarchy, complicated by incessant violence and terrorist attacks at all levels. The entire world now witnesses a horrific disorder whose resultant effect is enormous suffering inflicted on humanity. Faced with these situations therefore, how do we as Christians restore the already degenerated moral and social order? Blessed Pope John Paul II gave us a clue on how to do this when he said, ‘the shattered order cannot be fully restored except by a response that combines justice with forgiveness…’

“No Peace without Justice, No Justice without Forgiveness” is the caption of the 2002 World Day of Peace Message. In this message, the Holy Father expresses the idea that “forgiveness is not a proposal that can be immediately understood or accepted, it always involves an apparent short-term loss for a real long-term gain. Violence is the exact opposite; opting as it does for an apparent short-term gain, it involves a real and permanent loss. Forgiveness may seem like weakness, but it demands great spiritual strength and moral courage, both in granting it and in accepting it. It may seem in some way to diminish us, but in fact it leads us to a fuller and richer humanity, more radiant with the splendour of the Creator”.

In the midst of discordant sounds of hatred, bitterness and revenge expressed so often today, the soft note of forgiveness comes as a healing balm. Again, the Pope said “forgiveness can accomplish what justice alone cannot, a `healing of memories’ which allows for true cooperation and perhaps friendship to emerge between previously estranged and hostile people”.

Life in the spirit and hope for the future begins with healing, with forgiveness of the past, which can so easily immobilize us and cripple the future.

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St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland

St. Eunan's Cathedral

Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland



You can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with the Sisters of Merciful Jesus everyday at 3pm via the webcam in St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland.