"If you wish God to forgive you your offenses against God, forgive your enemies what they have done to injure you. At the very instant when you forgive your enemy, God will forgive you." St. Vincent Ferrer
Wow. Something about that little quote from that great saint just opened my eyes this morning. As followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ we and forgiveness are bound at the hip; the act of forgiving is part of our life force, just as important as love thy neighbor. Forgiveness and Love Thy Neighbor go hand in hand, and I'm afraid I've been guilty of not praying more about them. I can still feel parts of my old self at times when I don't love my neighbor, for whatever reason, and it angers me. I say praying more about them because for me, in prayer, in quiet contemplation over an issue, a problem, whatever, through prayer I seem to get closer to an answer. It usually doesn't happen right away. but slowly, like a night fading to morning. I need to be more vigilant.
But back to Saint Vincent.
As soon as I read his quote today I thought of a friend of mine, a priest who was once at our church. Franciscan through and through, and very Marian. He helped open my heart and mind in the short time I knew him and I'll always be thankful to him for that. He loved to come to our home and say the Rosary on the porch in the evening. He even said a Mass there on the night he blessed the house. They moved him from CT to Florida because of his command of the Spanish language, so now he gives Mass in Spanish and it's wonderful to hear. Gee, do I miss that man, that Brother.
And, of yeah, his name is Fr. Vincent.