Feast of Saint Frances of Rome
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Reflection by Jo-Dee Jackson
Happy feast day of Saint Frances of Rome!
Our Gospel starts with Jesus telling us to forgive others seventy-seven times. Wow! That’s a big number. He gives the example of the Master who forgives the servant for a large debt and then the servant in turn throws a fellow servant into prison because he cannot repay the debt. It goes downhill for the original servant fast. Jesus is having none of it! He tells us forgive your brother from your heart.
There is a member of our family who is especially demanding and this person seems to want their way without much regard to how the request impacts others. When this happens, my emotions go from hurt to anger pretty quickly. I can feel my whole body tense and thoughts of “here we go again” run through my head. I start posturing for a response as my control issues kick into high gear. I’ve learned to pause and go from head to heart through prayer, patience and often talking over the situation with Steve, my husband, who always comes through with the gift of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom.
Immersing myself in the Word, praying, and meditating transform me to respond to this family member with compassion, acceptance and forgiveness. Sometimes hurt and resentment creep back into my thoughts. This Lent I am praying for a deeper and longer-lasting forgiveness and peace of mind that can only be found from “resting in Jesus.”
Saint Frances of Rome’s life required her to forgive several family members, government and political leadership. She found a spiritual mentor in her sister-in-law and sought God’s guidance constantly in her prayer life.
Is there someone you struggle to forgive? Do you have a spiritual friend who helps you on your faith journey? Try sharing some of your spiritual hopes with those closest to you. You may be delighted at their reaction.