Monday, March 21, 2011
Resentment is a real danger - A Little Guide for Your Last Days
Excerpt from Chapter Eight
Resentment is a real danger here. It can interfere with getting what you really and truly want... And, if you are not careful, it will blind you to those graces and friendships that the Holy Spirit does send your way. So let me offer a strategy, a technique, that you may accept or reject.
A prayer that I have found as a spiritual "tool" of immense help is what the Eastern Church calls the Jesus Prayer. Its origin is in the words of a man in Our Lord's parable in Luke 18:13: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" The actual Jesus Prayer is:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Short, easy to memorize... Now here is my recommendation... begin by praying the Jesus Prayer with you in the "me" place of the prayer. Then, insert each of your loved ones in turn. ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on (name), a sinner.") Then and only then, insert the name of the one who you feel has wronged you, hurt you, done damage to you, neglected you. Whatever.
You are thus fulfilling Our Lord's injunction to forgive your "enemy" and, at the same time, shielding yourself from the bitter residue of resentment that can rot your heart and soul.
I'm not joking about this. I know persons who have held grudges, literally, for decades. "Oh I can forgive him/her. But I will never forget." Haven't you heard it before? But that is precisely why Jesus gave us this spiritual "tool" extraordinaire: because we cannot forget! That is why we are to forgive "seventy times seven" (Mt 18:22). Forget this at your peril. Just pray, even when the old pain wakes you up in the middle of the night; pray for your friends, your enemies. Anyone who the Lord brings to your heart and mind.