By: Sister Carmelina, OCD

In part 1 of this blog, I reflected on the first steps to move from anger to forgiveness in the New Year. The secret is reaching a deep spirit of consent to the circumstances of my life which moves me to accept myself as well. Knowing that this process can take a long time, I’m just moving now to step 2 in order to lay out the entire process and see what blocks to my spiritual growth need to be overcome.

When the Grace of God has moved me to CONSENTING to the undesired circumstances of my life and ultimately to who I am with all my frailties, then I’m able to accept others and the ‘suffering’ they cause me. After all, I’m able to forgive the sinner and hate the sin in myself . . . . why not in those around me? If I ‘do unto others as I would have them do unto me’, then I need to freely give forgiveness for the hurts and inconveniences that come from others.

In accepting the difficulties and suffering caused by others, I realize God can bring good out of everything. Fr. Jacque Philippe is his little book, Interior Freedom, says: “The worst pain of suffering lies in rejecting it.” After all, accepting the suffering offered by life, regardless of how it comes to me, can be used by God for my spiritual growth and purification. This approach is more realistic, especially for a person with Faith. Fr. Jacques also says: “The worst thing that could happen is for everything to go exactly as we want it.” Because that would be the end of any spiritual or personal growth. Hhhmmm…. I’m really not crazy about this idea but it does make sense. It’s like working out muscles: no pain, no gain.

“Jesus, I trust in YOU” when I try to forgive those (especially my family and friends) who cause my suffering and disappointments, mostly in little ways, though painfully in big ways sometimes. I realize that forgiving and ‘overlooking’ the hurts and petty irritations of life is the only way by which to achieve genuine and lasting interior freedom and peace, and maybe bring peace to my world, and eventually, all the world.

Help me, Lord, to accept the inconveniences and irritations caused by my family and friends. I know it’s not a matter of good or bad, they’re just annoyingly different. I don’t want to turn my home into a ‘war-zone’ so grant me the insight to see Your hand in everything, and to accept others as they are, as you accept me as I am: flawed but precious in Your sight.