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All Issues > Volume 21, Issue 5

<< Saturday, September 3, 2005 >> Pope St. Gregory the Great
Colossians 1:21-23
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Psalm 54 Luke 6:1-5
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"You nourished hostility in your hearts because of your evil deeds." —Colossians 1:21

Hostility, unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment have ravenous appetites. They demand to be nourished constantly with bitter and unkind thoughts. Still that's not enough. Those thoughts must spill out into words. We speak out of the abundance of our hearts (Lk 6:45). Like a devouring lion (1 Pt 5:8), unforgiveness' maw chews on gossip and slander born of resentment. Yet unforgiveness still must eat more. It relentlessly devours people, marriages, families, and friendships. It eventually may commit suicide by consuming the very person it feeds upon.

Unforgiveness gnaws on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It eats us alive. Like cancer, unforgiveness and bitterness take over our body until we are dead. Like poison, hostility and resentment destroy indiscriminately, both the object of the hate and the one expelling the venom.

Brothers and sisters, forgive or be handed over to the torturers to die a miserable death even into eternal damnation (Mt 18:34-35). The one who refuses to forgive is always among the casualties. Decide to forgive. Jesus will give you the grace, for He "has achieved reconciliation for you in His mortal body by dying, so as to present you to God holy, free of reproach and blame" (Col 1:22).

Prayer: Jesus, as You hung on the cross, You forgave me (Lk 23:34). Give me the grace to be willing to forgive.
Promise: "The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath." —Lk 6:5
Praise: Pope St. Gregory the Great, one of the most influential popes of the Middle Ages, faced crisis after crisis and was successfully able to steer the Church and help form it.
(For a related teaching, order our tape on Unforgiveness on audio AV 41-1 or video V-41.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 21, Issue 5
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