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Forgiveness the main weapon
Materialism and selfishness have taken over the world. The people of T&T have not escaped this phenomenon. The immediacy of our wants far outweighs waiting to get our needs. These are the problems which have overtaken the world.
The obvious question must be, can this period of Lent really have such a serious impact on you that will make you change your way of life—the materialism, selfishness and money must play a secondary role during this period—and you put God first in all you do. It’s hard. I know.
“Human sinfulness begins with self-centred thoughts that lead to selfish actions: me first, my family, my tribe, my will,” so writes Deborah Meister in the booklet ‘Living Faith’. “Repentance,” she said, “means giving up my will in order to accept God’s will. What is best for me and mine gives way to God’s love for all of creation.”
She continues, “We strive to love as God loves us though mortal love is never perfect. When we fail, overcome by anger, impatience, jealousy or apathy, we can heal these relationships with repentance, asking for forgiveness as we forgive others.”
This tells us how we should deal with our fellow man. How we should deal with our enemies by the utilisation of forgiveness. This world has too much hate, discrimination, and anger, but we can do our little bit to change that culture.
To do this, you would need God’s grace to experience a conversion of heart. And Fr James Behrens OSCC said, “It is such a conversion that entails a turning of one’s heart toward God.” To make Lent meaningful, he said this along with other penitential practices which are traditional; like the giving up of certain things or doing your best to attend daily mass.
Fr Behrens said, “We might also consider that a turning toward God involves two encounters—with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“Lent,” said Fr James, “can and should be a very fruitful time when we make a determined effort to forgive those who may have hurt us and when we make amends to those whom we may have offended. Making peace with God is inseparable from making peace with others. If we do our best to right wrongs during these coming weeks, we will also find peace within ourselves.”
Are you prepared to live with only what you need? Or, would you rather live with the things you want? The second option is what most people would prefer. It is a much more comfortable lifestyle—the ability to get your hands on anything you want always seems the better way to go regardless of how it is accomplished.
Nowadays, materialism is a worldwide phenomenon and it has reared its ugly head in the T&T society, making choices more difficult for many people. It has become akin to the old Barbadian saying “all is mine” and there are those who would do anything to ‘get rich quick’, regardless of morals.
Let us Christians pray for a more upright society using forgiveness as our main weapon.
Vernon Khelawan is a columnist for Catholic Media Services Limited (Camsel), the official communications arm of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located at 31 Independence Square. Telephone: 623-7620.
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