Daily Gospel

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 THURSDAY

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. — from Romans 8

Dear Beloved in Christ,

I have mentioned previously of my work with the dying and their families in a hospice. The dying can teach us about living. Dr. Ira Byock, physician, author, and early advocate of palliative care – shares lessons he’s learned. His books and lectures helped me understand how I could more effetely work with those in hospice care. I recently read a quote from him: “You know, Lily Tomlin, another philosopher in our time, said that forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past… It involves accepting that the past cannot be changed, while recognizing that it need not control our future.” One of the most important conversations, if the dying were ready, was to a life inventory — a life review – learning from the past as we move into our future.

I found a Buddhist prayer for forgiveness in those days. I offered it to several people as they reviewed their life. One in particular was a North Carolina poet, a woman who had some rough places with her daughter. God spoke to her through it. She asked I read it for her burial.

FORGIVENESS:

If I have harmed anyone in any way either
knowingly or unknowingly through my
own confusions I ask their forgiveness
If anyone has harmed me in any way
either knowingly or unknowingly through
their own confusion I forgive them.
And if there is a situation I am not
yet ready to forgive. I forgive myself
for that. For all the ways that I harm
myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself through
my own confusions
I forgive myself.

 

None of us know the moment death will come. Often we live in denial of the past, and present. To forgive those who harmed you, — to forgive yourself, is the daily work that frees us, now for God’s future. Remember Paul’s faith – nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus – in life, through death into life everlasting.

Remember the blessings God sends you in these days when they’re hard to see. Live prepared, for it’s not the end. As Jesus sees it – it’s the moment where total defeat and total victory embrace.

Hold fast to the One who holds you now and forever, Fr. Steve
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