Letters to the Editor

There's forgiveness in the message

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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Dear Editor,

After reading my submission to the editor published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 regarding the arson attack on Sts Peter and Paul Church, some commented that there was no mention of forgiveness. I certainly appreciate this constructive feedback.

However, the question of forgiveness is implied in the following line of the letter. It reads, “We must renew our resolve to continue participating in the ongoing social and spiritual renewal of our country based on the teachings and values of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.” One such teachings is forgiveness.

Preaching to my wounded congregation on the day of the incident, I reflected on the theme of forgiveness. In so doing, I presented the story of a Native American tale whose elder was talking to a disciple about tragedy. The elder said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The disciple asked, “But which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” And the holy one answered, “It depends on which one I feed.”

Forgiveness is possible when we feed the wolf of compassion and mercy. We can feed this wolf by:

• becoming aware of the presence of the wolf of revenge and violence inside us and gradually letting go of these negative feelings through counselling and prayer;

• praying for the healing grace;

• consulting and seeking advice from wise rather that destructive persons, including identifying and participating in a group/community which is geared towards the process of healing.

I leave this message for those who are experiencing tragedy, whether it is the people of the hurricane ravaged areas, refugees, or my own parishioners, “When tragedy strikes . . . we stand at the crossroads between hope and despair. Despair cements us in the present. Hope sends us dancing around the dark corners trusting in a tomorrow...” That which tomorrow begins with placing one foot forward — forgiveness.

Rev Fr Donald Chambers


Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church





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