|A Path Leading Up - may we take this with humility|
Ellie and I finally made it to Mass today for the first time since May. I hate that I've missed so much but between subbing for yoga, going to the beach, Mother's day, Father's day, and lots of other stuff. We've had a lot of Sunday morning activities. It felt good to be back, especially during such a difficult time. The Charleston shootings have shocked the country, but being here in SC, it's really sent a wave of despair and controversy through the state.
I'm not one to talk about politics and current events, but there were a couple of things that I felt were important about the reactions of the victims in this attack. We all got to hear a beautiful lesson in how to follow a spiritual life. There was so much beauty in the reaction of the victims' families, and the forgiveness they were able to extend to the killer.
Forgiveness is a path to the healing of the heart. One cannot have a whole, healthy heart when harboring a resentment. Resentment cause discourse within, and causes the heart to close. One of my favorites quotes came from The Untethered Soul; it states ""No matter what happens below you, just turn your eyes upward and relax your heart." Though life may contain many challenges and we may experience much pain, our only task is to remain open. Our task is to remain vulnerable and open to the love around us and above us. That's such an important lesson for me because I am VERY sensitive and I can easily retreat into myself when life gets rough. I tend to be a guarded person, and through lots of work, I've been on the path of opening, though I still have a long road ahead.
What does forgiveness look like? The victims of the Charleston shooting showed us the ultimate example of forgiveness. Though they experienced some of the worst pain that one can experience in life, the loss of a loved one, they forgave the killer. They laid their hands upon the image of him, told him they forgave him, and told him they loved him. He was not remorseful. He did not come groveling and asking for grace. He stood there with a blank face and they forgave him anyway. That is what we're called to do. It's easy to forgive someone who comes to you with an apologetic heart. When we see a person in a vulnerable state, it's easy for us to remain open too. Our function, though, is to remain vulnerable and loving even if the other is not. It's through this forgiveness that one opens oneself up to the light above. Our soul is free and we remain a vessel through which God can work. Our heart remains open and our energy pure. If they can forgive after such a heinous act, who am I to not forgive?
As we continue to face our adversaries through such a divisive time in our country, I am reminded of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi.