and renew a steadfast spirit within me…….
Not easy–not one bit.
What does it mean to say these words and put them into practice?
For me, and I am a human and often a sinful, resentful being, it means that I need to let go of ALL the judgments made against me. In order to live my faith, all my jealousy, envy, anger, and all of the pain that has built up deep within my heart needs to be turned over to Jesus.
I have many things that threaten my peace and serenity: issues from my past that meld into the present and threaten to affect my future, resentments towards those who have hurt or used me, pain of injustice and abuse, impatience with others, and estrangements from family and friends. Many of them are out of my control, but I can choose how to react when the enemy brings them to mind.
I can sulk.
Become vengeful or rageful.
I can harbor resentments and I can become depressed.
………….That last one is a tough one for me, if I am completely honest.
Or….I can take my pain, my suffering, my worry, my anger and depression and place each of them at the foot of the cross and pray.
While I pray for each situation and each person behind the pain, I imagine Christ’s blood covering each one and taking them from me.
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” said Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. I trust that He and He alone will remove this pain, this suffering and this depression from my heart and allow me to forgive all those who have hurt me and spitefully used me.
As I consciously do this, I feel my body rising from the ashes of despair and becoming lighter. Slowly, my heart becomes one with His. I choose to forgive. I choose to carry love within my heart. I choose to take the less traveled path and allow our Lord to Bless others through my suffering as I offer it all to Him, and yes, I ask our Lord to bless those very individuals that have caused me pain.
And I confess…
I confess to our Lord Jesus Christ the times I have judged, hurt, and caused suffering to others and I repent.
My soul begins to lift like the ribbons of early morning fog that hover above the meadow. The sun rises and lifts the moisture to the light and I become clean.
And tomorrow, I do it again.
The older I get, the more I realize how little time I have left on this earth. We are here but a blink in this world and too many times we have lost those we love, those we misjudged, those we hurt and never quite made it right. Regrets are like barbed wire, the cuts are superficial but numerous and together create an impenetrable web of pain. I want no regrets and await my homecoming with our Lord. So again, I forgive and ask forgiveness.
It is the least I can do, after all, our Lord opened his arms to heaven and did it all for me.
I love, I forgive and I ask the same.