© 2022 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved. http://www.kebba.com
Can you forgive someone’s hate? About ten years ago, I had the joy of attending a retreat with (the now late) Fr. William Meninger. A Trappist monk of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA, he was one of the most inspirational teachers of my life. I had studied with Fr. William before, in a weekend retreat on The Process of Forgiveness (image below, photo by Barbara Hamilton). This more recent workshop was called, Seeing With the Eyes of the Heart. I was praying for a heart-opening through this retreat day, and I got it.
The actual program was structured around understandings of contemplative prayer, a form of Christian meditation. It was not a forgiveness workshop. Yet, from this program, I got a huge key for forgiving hate. Fr. William believed, as I do, that God loves everyone. Everyone. Absolutely everyone. God loves us when we’re dirty, when we’re sobbing, and when we’ve made terrible wrong turns. God loves us when we are overweight, when we waste food, and when we hurt others.
Fr. William talked about his feelings about the 911 disaster. He said God told him to forgive. He told God, “I will, but I need time to hate them first.” It took him about a year to move into forgiveness. Here is the key. As Fr. William says, “Each person you can’t stand is beloved of God!” And how can you hold resentment against someone God loves?
The late Fr. Thomas Keating, also a Trappist monk of St. Joseph’s Abbey, essentially gave life and shape to the modern contemplative prayer movement. He has said,
There is nowhere you can go to find God, and there is nowhere you can go to escape Him.
We cannot be separate from God, and neither can those who destroy 4000 lives at once. In a sense, we cannot be separate from the 911 pilots. Each of them was beloved of God. We cannot be separate from the mass shooters or police-who-killed of recent years. Each of them was also beloved of God.
So we must declare a new day. We must choose to forgive, even if that’s hard, and even if it takes some time. We must choose to live without the heavy burden of unforgiveness. As Mother Teresa has said,
Yesterday has gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Will you try to unload the heavy burden of unforgiveness? Will you try to begin? It’s your life.
And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Livingsm.
And that also will be you, ever more Healthy Happy and Loving Lifesm!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert, holistic healer, and award-winning author who celebrates life. She has a longtime natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. They are also available in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Franciscan Renewal Center bookstore and at the bookstore at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church. Or simply email us to order: email@example.com . Thank you!