Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part 10 of 12

Continued here are Father Schouppe’s meditations on the Lord’s Prayer, based on the second manner of prayer taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

“As we forgive them who trespass against us”

“Lord, we forgive our brethren their offences, deign also to pardon ours. We know that our offences against you are much more grave than those which our brethren have committed against us; nevertheless, you have been pleased to promise us forgiveness, on condition of our forgiving our offending brother: ‘For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences’ (Mt 6:14).”

“Our Divine Master makes us add these words, to remind us constantly of the great precept of fraternal charity, and of the obligation of pardoning our enemies. We can only ask pardon of God on condition of first granting forgiveness to our neighbour.”

“We are obliged to forgive the offences, the injuries of our neighbour, as far as the insult, but not as far as the loss is concerned; we are obliged to put away all sentiments of revenge and enmity, but we are not forbidden to claim a just compensation, within the limits of prudence and Christian charity.”

“We ought to forgive all offences without exception. However great the injuries we suffer from our neighbour, can they ever bear any comparison with those we have committed against God.”

“We ought to pardon others, because we also have offended our brethren. ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so shall you fulfil the law of Christ’ (Gal 6:2).”

“We ought to forgive every injury, and to pray for those who offend or persecute us, after the example of the Saviour, who said on the cross: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Lk 23:34).”

“We must forgive from our hearts. . . . The interior forgiveness and good will are always obligatory, even should the enemy persist in his hatred; but reconciliation and exterior friendship are not always possible.”

“Grant me, Lord, a perfect charity towards my neighbour, the grace to bear with his defects, a love for my enemies; may I have in my heart no other sentiments than those of the purest charity, with which the Heart of Jesus is animated. ‘For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 2:5).”

Quotations from Francois Xavier Schouppe, An Easy Method of Meditation (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1883).

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