The Grace to Forgive

Susan, a very religious person, always knew that she wanted to get married. But her marriage turned out to be very different that what she had dreamed. Her husband was a difficult man, and he gave her a hard time. Along with this her three children did not end up making decisions in their lives that a parent would be very proud of: two were addicted to drugs, and the third was living with someone. Yet Susan never stopped praying. Even though at times she fell into doubt, and wondered if she was wasting her time praying, she never really gave up—-she hung in there and remained steadfast. And one of the things that she prayed for was that her husband would somehow get back with God. She prayed for this for years.

Her Husband gets sick, and now Susan has to take care of him. Eventually, it became too much for her to do, and she herself becomes seriously ill.

One day, after another long stay in the hospital, Susan is coming into church. The priest greets her and says: “I guess it’s pretty rough for you these days”. And she responds: “When I look at Christ on the cross, I realize that I can put up with my troubles”.

As time goes by, the husband actuality recovers from his sickness and decides to get things right between him and God. Susan, however, dies from her illness. But the husband keeps going to church.

“With the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise as some regard “delay”, but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Through all the challenges, Susan remained faithful, and although it took a long time, prayers were answered. Susan didn’t have an easy life, but she wouldn’t allow herself to give in to anger, or self-pity. She was able to let go of things. And somehow, a soul was saved through her perseverance—-her own husband’s.

Is there a happy ending to this story? I think there is. Prayers were answered, souls were saved. So, ask God to give to you the grace to consider letting go of anger, self-pity, resentment. Ask for the grace to forgive. This is what Jesus is calling us to do, this is what Advent is all about—-new beginnings. The Lord does not hold back his promise to those who keep praying, to those who persevere in faith.

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