This truth: “To the extent that one is forgiven, one is capable of loving,” was the message delivered by Father B at St. George’s this past Sunday.
(Caution: the content below is a bit disgusting.)
Not too long ago, a very young friend asked me, “How do you have so much faith?” I cryptically answered, “I am old and I’ve been through a lot of shit.” But, Father B reminded me that just going through shit does not make one faithful; it is the presenting of one’s shit to God and asking for forgiveness…forgiveness for oneself as well as forgiving those responsible for the shit…that allows the Holy Spirit to grant one faith and therefore the capacity to love others.
(I have been advised to not use ‘dirty words’ like “shit” because it makes me sound ‘common’ or unintelligent…but it is what it is. If you’d rather I use “crap” or “hardship,” let me know. To me, “shit” has the right sharp vocal emphasis…if not smell.)
Back to my point. Father B is right…as usual. Guilt, judgement (of self or others), cherished opinions (of self or others),…these things are like logs in the jam; they block the flow of the spiritual truth. It’s like spiritual constipation and the sooner purged, the better one feels and the more one feels like loving others.
Not too long ago, I was reminded of an episode involving a distant relative who, many years ago, had cornered me and had unjustly and wrongfully accused me of something. I did not defend myself at the time and I had stuffed it away. Now, this same distant relative was doing the same to a close loved one. My brother advised, “Let her have it. It won’t do any good but it’s like puking; you’ll feel better afterwards.” I don’t recommend “letting others ‘have it.'” However, I do recommend ‘puking’ in God’s direction. He can take it. He invented it. He wants us to puke our bad smelling thoughts, feelings, cherished resentments, incriminations, hates, fears, anger, …at Him. He will deal, heal, and forgive. Trust me; I have a lot of experience with this.