WEDNESDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF JUNE, 2018
Loving Father, thank you for the example of Jesus who cried, “Father forgive,” on the cross. Help me to be one that freely and willingly prays forgiveness over those who are my enemies, and those who, for whatever reason, dislike or try to harm me.
Forgive my enemies Lord and all those who have tried to harm me. Look down in pity on all those who I term “enemies” and give me the grace to show them the love of Christ in my actions and attitudes towards them. Keep my thoughts from becoming resentful or seeking revenge but rather release in my heart the peace that only comes from casting all my cares on you.
Give me the grace, not only to truly forgive my enemies but also to bless those who persecute me for in so doing I see a dim reflection of your enormous grace towards me for which I praise and thank you in Jesus blessed name. Amen.
Remember Christ, our saviour who paid the debts you owed
to God the heavenly Father and to you mercy showed.
When others sin against you be ready to forgive.
Since you have been forgiven with them in peace now live.
Go first to find your brother, your sister or your friend.
do not reveal to others the hurt you need to mend.
Confront in humble spirit the one whose sin caused pain
that he might seek forgiveness and you a friend regain.
When bitter anger tempts you to nurse your broken heart
with brooding thoughts of hatred and vows of vengeance start.
Pray to the lord of pardon for power to release
each selfish act against you that rage might in you cease.
O Father, Son, and Spirit, O patient Trinity,
who lifts from us sin’s burden and from its debt sets free,
grant us the will to pardon all those who us offend
that we might enter heaven with them when ages end.
( Robert E. Smith )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Cosme Spezotto, OFM: following the God of the poor in El Salvador
The faith and commitment of so many Christians who suffered and died in Central and South America is only beginning to be understood.
Such is the case of Father Cosme Spezotto, a Franciscan from Italy, who was assassinated in El Salvador on the fourteenth of June, 1980. He had been praying at the church of San Juan Nonualco, where he had served for many years.
An Italian by birth, he arrived in El Salvador in 1950 and spent his life in service of the poor until his martyrdom. He served his flock in a ministry that was both traditional and innovative. He visited the sick, brought in the cultivation of grapes, helped some villagers construct dignified houses and buried the dead. He denounced the grave injustices committed by the Salvadoran armed forces, and that was to prove his undoing.
In May of 1980 he entered a hospital for a liver problem and was found to suffer from leukaemia. While hospitalised he had received three death threats warning him never to go back to his parish church. But he went back anyway, even though suffering from leukaemia, and there he was martyred by members of the police, who made good on their threats.
After his death this note was found among his possessions, and it reveals so clearly the deep faith of many who put Christ above personal safety.
“I have a feeling that at one time or another, fanatical persons can take away my life. I ask the Lord that at the opportune moment he give me the strength to defend the rights of Christ and his Church. To die a martyr would be a grace I don’t deserve. To wash away with the blood, poured out by Christ, all my sins, defects, and weaknesses of my past life would be a gracious and gratuitous gift of God.”
He forgave his executioners as he was gunned down. His final words, according to Father Filiberto del Bosco, were “pardon … pardon” as the priest gave him the last rites.
Another martyr who identified himself with the God of the poor.
Scripture. In the “Letter to Hebrews,” chapter twelve, verses three and four, we read:
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
… for peace in the world.
… for an end to tyranny and oppression by the state; for an end to police brutality and corruption.
… for the strength to forgive those who trespass against us.
… for the people of the Falkland Islands who celebrate their national day today.
… for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
… for ourselves.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From “My Life in Christ” by John of Kronstadt:
You see very clearly that it is extremely difficult, and without God’s grace and your own fervent prayer and abstinence, impossible, for you to change for the better. You feel within yourself the action of a multitude of passions: of pride, malice, envy, greediness, the love of money, despondency, slothfulness, fornication, impatience, and disobedience; and yet you remain in them, are often bound by them, whilst the long-suffering Lord bears with you, awaiting your return and amendment; and still bestows upon you all the gifts of his mercy.
Be then indulgent, patient, and loving to those who live with you, and who also suffer from many passions; conquer every evil by good, and, above all, pray to God for them, that he may correct them; that he may turn their hearts to himself, the source of holiness.
Do not help the Devil to spread his kingdom. Hallow the name of your heavenly Father by your actions; help him to spread his kingdom on earth. “For we are labourers together with God.”
Be zealous of the fulfilment of his will on earth, as it is in heaven. Forgive them that trespass against you with joy, as a good son rejoices when he has a chance of fulfilling the will of his beloved father.
Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth. Inspire us with the memory of Father Cosme Spezotto, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross. Give us the courage to bear witness with our own lives to your son’s victory over sin and death, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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