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How can we come towards one another, not with the aggression that alienates, but with the love that unites? There is no easy answer to this; a major part of prayer can be occupied in learning it. But one very practical thing helps: thanksgiving. Not humility—for which of us can claim to know anything about that?—but that cheerful, gracious act of being thankful Always there is something in every situation for which one can be thankful. The situation which contained all the tragedy in the world was one which was redeemed by thanksgiving: Jesus, in the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread and gave thanks. When we meet the betrayals and diminishments of daily life, which often turn our energies into sour aggression, it is possible in Christ to learn to take them and give thanks—not in any romantic or false way?

When we ourselves betray and diminish others, we also have to turn that aggression into peace within ourselves.

God does not leave us alone in this work. To quote from a sermon someone gave a few years back, God ‘takes my head between his hands and turns my face towards him. And though I struggle and hurt those hands, they do not let me go until he has smiled me into smiling; and that is the forgiveness of God.’

 

Mother Mary Clare SLG

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