brother must be forgiven and treated as a friend because he has given me the opportunity
to be like my Father in Heaven who lets His sun rise and shine on the just and the unjust.
God has used my brother's frailties to give me the opportunity to be like Jesus - merciful
It does not always follow that my brother and I will ever be bosom friends, but it does
mean I wish him well, pray for him and hold no grudge or resentment.
It is difficult after forgiving an injury to forget the incident entirely and yet, this is
exactly the kind of forgiveness I expect and hope for from God.
I want my faults and sins to be erased from the Book of Life and I rely on His Mercy to do
He will do exactly that, but He asks in return that I do the same to my brother.
When God forgives me He always gives me some token of that forgiveness. It may be a
light-hearted feeling or more grace to overcome myself the next time.
His Goodness is so great and His Mercy so Infinite that He rejoices over my repentance and
treats me as a long-lost son.
Perhaps a smile or a handshake are sufficient, or some token of my continued confidence in
him as a person - to make him realize I do not
think less of him because of his offense.
This forgiving-giving is a trait I too must acquire. I must give my brother some sign that
I rejoice in his repentance.
I must not forget the power of holiness of life. If I strive for union with God, that
union will manifest itself to my neighbor in many hidden ways.
Jesus described this when He said, "If, therefore, your whole body is filled with
light, and no trace of darkness, it will be light entirely, as when a light shines on you
with its rays." (Luke
Those rays of God's Love shining forth from a soul united to Him, affect every person that
The soul itself may not be conscious of its effect on others, but its example of
constancy, courage, faith, and love shine out to others like the rays of the sun.
It is enough for a soul that its Lord alone knows its suffering and pain; its only desire
is to witness to the joy of belonging to such a Lord.
This kind of witness is powerful and safe because it is hidden, but men must also see my
good works and here I often run into danger.
Jesus told me many times during His life to be careful that the light inside me is not
darkness. I must be careful not to light a lamp only to put it under a bushel. It must be
seen by men to give them light. (Luke
I can give scandal by a bad example and by no example. A lukewarm Christian can do more
harm than one who is leading a sinful life.
A "do nothing" attitude can make my neighbor apathetic and hopeless. It is
better for my neighbor to see me try and fail than not to try at all.
Everything I am and everything I do influences someone for better or for worse. I need not
be self-conscious and think only of my example, but neither must I forget that other
people are influenced by my example and that it speaks a thousand words.
Everyone is important to God and the world. A sick old woman in an apartment, unnoticed
and unwanted by her neighbor may, if she keeps close to God, help to save the very person
who rejects her.
It is not important I am seen by men, for God can use my life, example, prayers and union
with Him to do great things - things I will know only in Eternity - but Eternity is where
If I cannot bear the fruit of success, I can at least bear the fruit of effort.
My repentance must be proven by a change of life and here is where I need self-control.
Over-indulgence and lack of self-control cause many sins.
Jesus came down from glory to my suffering level that I might rise from my misery to His
Glory. But to do this I must take upon myself the whole Christ - suffering and
He took upon Himself my sins
that I might sin no more.
He took upon Himself my weakness
that I might have grace to overcome.
He took upon Himself my pain
that I might hold his Hand in mine.
He took upon Himself my humiliation
that I might be raised to His Throne.
He took upon Himself the loss of His friends in
His hour of need that I might never be alone in
the hour of my need.
He stood alone, abandoned by God and man,
so I need never feel desolate or rejected.
Can I ever think, even for a moment, that I can
be transformed into a worthy son of God unless I
follow in His Blood-stained Footsteps?