TUESDAY OF LENT WEEK 1

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. (Mt 6:7-15)
 
It will be hard for the Ukrainians or for the rest of the world to forgive the Russian leadership and their supporters. We need to start now before the dark force implodes and destroys itself – and how many others as collateral damage – as it always does. Only forgiveness born of real insight and wisdom prevents or delays that force from re-grouping. Remember how the devil who tempted Jesus in the desert left him ‘to return at the appointed time.’
 
Forgiveness in an individualistic mentality is virtually impossible to achieve. The individual sinned against becomes arrested in a state of outrage at the injustice they have suffered and see themselves primarily as a victim. This is natural and must be treated with great understanding and sensitivity. But it is inadequate and prevents full healing and the restoration of healthy relationships. It is the trap of the vendetta culture and fuels the  ‘eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ attitude to life.
 
All deep religious wisdom sees the need for forgiveness, the truth inherent in cancelling debts. Jesus made it the central pillar of his unified moral teaching of love which grew directly out of his mystical consciousness. Like everyone else, his disciples struggle to apply the teaching of forgiveness.
 
The doctrine of the Body allows them to not give up trying and to keep advocating it even when they fail. In the Christian mystical tradition – which is its soul and foundation – Christ is not an external teacher, set up on a pillar to worship and admire. That imagination keeps him at a safe distance and prevents him touching us awake.
 
The truth is we are Christ.
 
Glimpsed, even half-understood, this truth resets our view of everything, beginning with ourselves.
Laurence Freeman
Lenten Reflections 2022
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