"Leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, come and offer your gift." (Mt. 5:24)
It is good to have others remind us that we need to seek forgiveness and maybe even enable forgiveness. Is there anyone you could help in this way? Or do you need to ask somebody to forgive and be reconciled?
A MESSAGE FROM FR. JACK BUTLER:
We are BC, and as BC, we claim our Christian, Jesuit Catholic heritage. So like years of old when you attended the Heights, let's prepare for Easter together as a community, the BC community past and present.
As we begin Lent let us make a deal to accompany each other into the heart of God's love for us. God is love and is about love. God's love is always a gift and loving forgiveness is a sure sign of the presence of God. God always forgives us, but knowingly or unknowingly uses us to express that forgiveness to one another, and in so doing we appropriate forgiveness for ourselves.
Throughout Lent you are invited to listen to the hearts of others as they make God's love real for us through the telling of their own personal stories. The stories aren’t long – about two minutes each – but they are gifts to us to help us in our prayer and maybe in our action. Each clip will have a scripture passage and a question for personal reflection. Treat yourself each week to a new gift of forgiveness and love as shared by our friends through these short videos. Ponder where you are in need of God's love, or where God's love is calling you.
Lent is a time of renewal. Lent is a time of love. There is no need for self-hatred, in fact that in itself would be against God's love. There is no need for fear. God's love is free and God's love is grace itself. During this Lent, be open to God's love and forgiveness, and just maybe be inspired to be a sacrament of that love for another. Be assured that the sign of forgiving love is freedom. During this season, enjoy a deeper understanding that in fact you are the apple of God's eye. Forgiving love is not magic, nor does it erase memories. Iin fact, it might not even change the concrete reality, but what it does is transform within and allows the true meaning of Easter, the resurrection, to begin in us all.
~ Fr. Jack Butler
Vice President, Mission and Ministry
"How beauitful. We should all make this part of our lives." ~ Kathy Asmar
"Oliver knows at a young age what it sometimes takes many of us half of our lifetime (or longer) to understand. Forgiving others is paramount to learning how to forgive ourselves. Saying and hearing the words "I am sorry" is one of the simplest but most meaningful of human experiences. It is how we say "You matter to me." Beautifully told, Oliver. Thank you." ~ Susan Gonzalez '81
"This reflection is beautiful. I've never thought of forgiveness as an exercise. I, too, hope that I am able to practice forgiveness in a new way this Lenten season, to fully experience the Resurrection at Easter." ~ Liz Stowe Fennell '05
"It was so important for me to see this video today! I have been sad because my best friend has let me down. I needed to hear this because I wanted to forgive her but I couldn't. God sent me this message and I'm so happy to start my lenten season with this clear message."
"Will be looking forward to each week's new video---wonderful idea for parents to have children sit and hold hands and learn lesson of forgiveness--- also am reminded how powerful the simplest admission/supplication of 'I'm sorry, please forgive me' can be." ~ Pamela Ready Palumbo '85
"What a wonderful way to begin the season of Lent! Learning to forgive others is important and so too is learning to forgive ourselves. I haven't always been the best mom, daughter, wife, sister, friend even when I think that I have done the best I can. But I need to be able to move on and allowing myself to forgive myself has helped. I look forward to this Lenten journey." ~ Class of '72
"Simple and beautiful! How many people go through life thinking they are un-forgiven for something they've done? What a wonderful blessing it would be to let them know they are forgiven. Thank you."
"I believe C S Lewis said that 'everyone talks about forgiveness until it becomes time to forgive.' I think of that often when I need to forgive another. It's not easy and takes effort to forgive. I wish it were as easy to forgive as to wanting to be forgiven." ~ Gerald Mahoney '72
"With EVANGELIZATION as a present major priority of the Holy Father, B.C.'s outreach, with the world-wide need of forgiveness as its focus, is inspired. By using the means of reaching the WORLD in a rapid, all-embracing manner through our technology, even the Apostles would love to come back to start over again! I will forward this each week to as many as I possibly can. Thank you!" ~ Sr. Margaret Mary Forsyth SSND, '67
"Thank you for this beautiful reflection from a young man who has lived and understood forgiveness in his young life. Sent it to my prayer buddies!" ~ Jane McHale, Parent '14
"What a wonderful way to start the day! I am moved by Fr. Jack's warm words of welcome 'into the heart of God's love for us,' challenged by the speaker's wise words and grateful that BC is offering this to its wider community." ~ Kathy Kickman '68
"All my life I have been fascinated by the art of forgiveness. It was not part of my growing up years and I think I carried and do carry much guilt for the past. In some ways, I find it more difficult to forgive myself than to forgive others, although I know the two are related. This Lent I hope to focus on God's unconditional love for me and reflect on how I might forgive myself and free myself from the past." ~ Carole Milan Danis
"I don't think that I understood forgiveness until recently. I thought that someone had to be sorry before you could forgive them. But lots of times, the person that hurt you the most is not sorry. So, I thought that you couldn't forgive them or they might hurt you again. Then, I realized that forgiveness comes from within me and has nothing to do with the other person(s). It is freeing to explore the hurt, try to understand why it happened and perhaps learn from it, then let it go. You can forgive and still protect yourself from being hurt that way again without carrying the anger and the hurt with you every day. Maybe this comes with age?" ~ Maureen O'Connor Hurley '77
"While attending BC, I became offended by the action of a friend. As I later learned this was only in my mind. Some forty years passed when for some reason I decided to mentally forgive that person. During those intervening years we had no contact. Within a few days after my mental forgiveness I received a phone call from that person who wanted to visit me." ~ Ken
"We truly need these for inspiration. I myself, at this age (86) became very inspired. Such a sad world today. In god we trust and his blessings to go everywhere. Believe and forgive. Go... do it!" ~ Sophie and Ken Pataky, Texas