(Prayer offered over the Public Address system for the La Salle educational community on Wednesday morning, 2 April 2014)
Let us remember we are in the presence of a loving God.
When I was younger, I always approached Lent in a traditional way but always seemed to fail. I would give up ice cream and then my friends would want to go to Newport Creamery and I would take that as a cosmic sign that God was giving me the okay to partake in some Crazy Vanilla with Oreo crumbs on top. I would give up fighting with my sisters and then one of them would inevitably steal my shirt and World War 3 would break out in the Dillon household.
When I got to Holy Cross one of the chaplains challenged us to approach Lent in a different way. Rather than giving up something trivial, they asked us to focus on ourselves, to attempt to become our best selves in preparation for the resurrection of Christ. As I searched for ways to become a better friend, student, sister, and daughter, I realized that for me that generally meant granting the forgiveness I had been denying throughout the rest of the year. True to my Irish temper, I am the Babe Ruth of holding grudges. I have a really hard time forgetting when someone has wronged me or let me down. And I have an even harder time of letting them forget it.
Luckily, that same chaplain provided instructions for dealing with resentment. It states:
“If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it everyday for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassion, understanding and love.”
As some of the people in this building can attest to, I have not entirely mastered the art of forgiveness; but, I hope that you will join me for the remainder of Lent in attempting to forgive those who have trespassed against us.
Let us pray,
Dear Lord, help us to follow in the example of your son Jesus Christ who forgave those who crucified him. Help us to embrace everyone we meet with compassion and love. Help us to grant the forgiveness we have been denying, so that we ourselves may be forgiven.
St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.
Megan Dillon (Social Studies Teacher)