Everyday as a Catholic we say a prayer. It’s a familiar prayer, we call the Our Father. For those of you who don’t know it, here is how it goes.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thine will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom and the power and the glory is yours forever and ever. Amen”
Jesus taught his disciples this. The part that always sticks out to me is the forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. It really says that we can not have forgiveness if we can not forgive others, including our enemies. Something else hit me tonight, what if our enemy is our own selves. For someone who struggles with depression, and a mind that is tangled into a web, that is something I have never thought about until tonight. Am I really giving myself a break, and forgiving myself for the mistakes that I have made.
I am not a saint by any stretch of the means. I have done a lot of things that are considered very morally wrong. My time in the Air Force was not all heroic, and I have hurt others in my life, some of the ones that I cared very deeply about. I have also done things that I am not very proud of, broken almost every commandment in the book. All of these things I have brought to the Sacrament of Reconciliation many times, I have heard the words of absolution spoken to me by the priests, but I myself have not forgiven the things in my past. Well, tonight, in the spirit of Lent, it is time to change that. I can’t forget the things that I have done, one because they are a part of my path here, and two, some of them led me to outcomes that are far better than the situations that caused the sins in the first place. They are all in my life, and they are part of the many lessons that I have learned along the way. I again say this, I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be, but tonight, I am going to set those old things aside, and let better person shine through.
To anyone reading this that knows me, if I have done anything to hurt you in any way, please accept my sincere apologies right here and now. I can not change what I have done, but I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Know that so far, on this Lenten journey of mine, I am not the same person I was when Lent started. I have felt a change in me that I can only describe as the Holy Spirit directing me. So, with that, the old person you knew is transforming into a new person. I have actually been more at peace. I am really praying that everyone reading this can find the same feeling, and start the transformation process of your own.