Forgiveness is an essential part of our lives as Christians.
Recently, Ascension Presents posted a powerful story presented by Fr. Mark Mary of the Franciscan Friars of Renewal about a young woman who forgave the man who shot her, which ended up paralyzing her.
Listen to the story below:
Here’s the full text of the video:
One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13, “For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But is it true?
Let’s go ahead and talk about that.
So, we’re back in Honduras and I’m visiting those who are homebound. And one of the women who I’d visit is a young lady named Reyna. Reyna’s about 22 or 23 years old at the time. And Reyna, through a random act of violence, was shot and left paralyzed; left bound to a wheelchair.
Each week, I’d visit Reyna. I’d sit with her, I’d talk with her, I’d pray with her, I’d give her the Eucharist, I’d give her holy communion. And after visiting Reyna for a number of months, we became friends. And so finally, we’d gotten to the point where I can ask to hear her story, and she begins to explain how when she was still a teenager, one night, someone was trying to steal something very small from her, ended up shooting her, and she was left paralyzed. And as she’s sharing her story, of course, she talks about the great darkness that she experienced and the great pain.
You can imagine, what a terrible tragedy to happen to a young girl with her whole life ahead of her.
As she goes on, she’s explaining a little bit about her routine and her day-to-day—the pain that she still experiences.
After some time, she begins to reflect upon it—to share with me the way in which her relationship with the Lord has grown through this, and what the Lord has inspired her to do.
She says, “You know, Brother, there’s still pain. On a regular basis, I still experience pain, but I accept it and I offer it back to the Lord for the kids on the street—that the Lord may bless them, that maybe he’ll bring somebody in their lives to take them in and take care of them.”
And she continues, “You know, Brother, it hurts so much more for me to know the person who shot me.”
Because the guy who had done this evil to her still was living in the neighborhood.
She said, “You know, brother, I don’t hate him. I forgive him.”
Wow. What a statement of faith. What a work of God that Reyna, by participating with the Lord and his work in her life, the Lord had given her the grace, not only to accept and offer back to the Lord this great tragedy that happened to her, but even to forgive the young man whose actions had left her in this state of great suffering.
My brothers and sisters, if the Lord can act in Reyna’s life in such a profound way to bring her to the ability to forgive someone who had hurt her so badly, surely it’s true that there’s nothing that the Lord can’t do. Surely there’s no struggle, there’s no obstacle, there’s no battle in your life where the Lord can’t be victorious.
My brothers and sisters let’s take heart, let’s take confidence in the power of the Lord to really and truly actin our lives. And whatever that situation is, if it’s unforgiveness, if it’s a battle with sin.