Saturday, August 23, 2014

St Genesius Novena Day 7

Meditating on the Lord's Prayer with St Genesius

And forgive us our trespasses 
as we forgive those who trespass against us

God’s love is unconditional, his mercy is not. This is a shocking realisation, and it is revealed in the Lord’s Prayer and in the Parables of Jesus. The Eternal Father is generous with mercy, he forgives, but he demands that we forgive also; if we withhold mercy to those who have offended us, the Father will do the same to us. Here is the most dangerous sentiment in the Our Father, the one which seeks to shake us up, bring us to our senses; there is no room for hard hearts and presumption in the kingdom of heaven. Forgiving others can be difficult, we must strive to do so and this prayer is our appeal to God to help us forgive so we too may obtain forgiveness. Every martyr forgives their persecutors, and this is part of their witness – if any of them had withheld forgiveness they would not have been raised up. Like Jesus on the cross, they are to pray for their persecutors, and we must do the same. In forgiving we not only find reconciliation, but we are also set free.

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