On Sept.13, Pope Francis addressed the wave of protests that have swept through the globe this summer, some of which have turned violent, issuing an appeal for peaceful demonstrations and for those fueled by hate to let go and move toward forgiveness and reconciliation.
As we trudge into 2020, a year that promises to be just as rancorous politically as the year we recently ended, I find myself thinking about forgiveness.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The power of forgiveness was recently shown in a dramatic court room when former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering her neighbor Botham Jean, when she mistakenly entered his apartment thinking it was her own. She identified the victim as a burglar and shot him to death. But this is not the end of the story. The courtroom was presided over by Judge Tammy Kemp, who is a deaconess in her church. The scene began when the 18-year old brother of the victim, Brandt Jean, asked the judge if he could embrace the now-convicted murderer who received a 10-year prison sentence. Judge Kemp hesitated, but eventually allowed the two to embrace. This too is not the end of the story.
Dear Editor: I am sorry to say that I just came from a parish in Astoria, where there was no priest available to hear confession today (The Power of Forgiveness, The Tablet, Dec. 15).
Monday, December 17, is Reconciliation Monday in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn. This custom began several years ago in Rockville Centre during the Lenten Season. Now all of the Downstate dioceses have adopted this custom where you can be sure that from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in most every church of these dioceses you can find a priest who will hear your confession.
It was Wednesday, the day the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) meets at my parish. At the start of each session, we engage in a modified Lectio Divina. This past Holy Week, we were reading the Gospel about the two disciples walking to Emmaus. We focused in on how the disciples knew it was Jesus that they had asked “to stay with us.”
HAVE YOU EVER been hurt by someone, hurt to the very core of your heart? I imagine so. This happens to most of us and it leaves a wound that may heal, but certainly leaves a scar.
There’s a full court press on to urge Catholics to make use of the confessional on Reconciliation Monday, April 10. It’s a tri-diocesan effort with the Archdiocese of New York joining with the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre in a massive public relations campaign.
Santo subito! Sainthood now!
That was the chant when Pope John Paul II’s coffin was carried through St. Peter’s Square. It very well could be our chant as we say goodbye to Detective Steven McDonald.
AS WE START the year and try to offer our hopes and challenges to God, I have been reflecting on how important it is to give and receive forgiveness. Pope Francis once called the family a training ground for mutual forgiveness. He also said we should try to make amends immediately.