Lent Day 6: Is it too late now to say sorry?

“This is how you are to pray.”

Some two-thousand years ago, Jesus sat on a hilltop in front of his followers and he taught us, word-for-word, exactly how to pray. And two-thousand years later, we still use these very same words in our daily Masses, rosaries, and family prayers. We still pray in the same way Jesus taught us

When I think about the “Our Father,” two lines in particular stick out to me:

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does it mean to really forgive? In this Lenten season during the Year of Mercy, this is something especially important to consider. It’s easy to feel sorry for someone/thing, but it is tough to truly forgive. Be it a long-lost family member, ex-best friend or boyfriend, or the stranger who cut you off in traffic, having a forgiving nature all day everyday is pretty difficult.

I realize this now, flinching as I remember all of the times over the past few weeks where I haven’t been quite forgiving, quite loving, to both the people in my life and to strangers, choosing to ignore instead of being present. I also haven’t been quite forgiving towards myself, blaming myself for the predicaments I’m always finding myself in… whether it’s small, like missing the train and showing up late, or bigger, like being impatient and snapping at someone. I forget to forgive myself, for not being the best version of myself. I harbor the guilt, hide in the shame. Rather than letting go, I allow myself to be overwhelmed with it all.

But God forgives.

It’s amazing how we can learn to memorize a prayer, word for word, and then in our monotone-ness we forget the meaning of the words “forgive us our trespasses.” In this prayer taught to us by Jesus all those years ago, we are literally asking God to forgive us, and He promises to do so if we in turn forgive those who trespass against us — including our own flawed selves.

By recognizing our own sins, and the sins of others, we are being aware. We realize our human need for mercy, and then, we let those sins go. And He still heals, still forgives us.

Just allow that to sink in.

In true mercy & healing,
ae