DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN to FRI-SAT-SUN     July 9-18, 1999     vol. 10, no. 132

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

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    INTRODUCTION
      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

      Today Sister tackles the sticky issue of "turning the other cheek" as Christians in her column How to handle injustices. She addresses the fact that we all experience injustices sometimes in life and we need to understand why God allows transgressions against us. When we comprehend the Divine Will in all of this it makes it much easier to forgive and pray for those who trespass against us. She acknowledges that we don't have to forget for forgetting is often the most difficult thing to do. But if we don't forget we basically become pathetic pachyderms trudging through life carrying that extra baggage on our backs and our trunks dragging!

      Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.

HOW TO HANDLE INJUSTICES

        All of us have experienced injustices. Perhaps they occurred when we were children, on the job, at a party, with friends, with family, with strangers.

        Injustices happen sometime to everyone. I recall that Our Lady of Medjugorje once said: “There have always been injustices.”

        Perhaps the injustice comes upon us because of jealousy, greed, ignorance, misunderstanding, selfishness, revenge or just plain malice.

        No one can live someone else’s life. We cannot control the meaness, real or unintended, of others. But injustices do occur.

        It was unjust for Joan of Arc to be judged a witch and burned at a stake. It was unjust for the early Christians to be judged as subverters and fed to the lions or dragged by horses to their death. It was unjust for Hitler to think the Jews an inferior race and exterminate as many as he could. It is unjust for unborn babies to be denied life and aborted at any time of the mother’s pregnancy. It was unjust that some of the very people that Jesus cured and ministered to clamored for His death on Good Friday. It was unjust that He was caused any suffering at all, for He was a totally innocent “Man.”

        All of us are sinners. And at times of suffering we could say: “I guess I deserve this, for it is better to make up for my sins here than in eternity.”

        But it is very important to handle any injustice the way God would want us to handle it. And we must look to the example of Our Lord for the answer.

        First of all, we must ACCEPT any injustice with peace and love. Too difficult, you say? I must confess that as I’ve gotten older, it is easier for me to accept the injustices of others. Why? I guess because my level of expectation from others has gotten lower and my reliance on God, as the ONLY ONE in Whom I can put my trust, has gotten higher. To some extent people will always dissapoint us, but God is always 100% reliable.

        Sometimes when people misjudge me or my actions, I walk away thinking: “I am no better and no worse than what I am in God’s sight and what I am in God’s sight is what I am in truth.” So if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t forget about it.

        It’s not always easy to forget, however, but we must remember that God does not ask us to forget. He does ask us to FORGIVE. That is the second point. Christians must know, as well, that forgiveness is not in the feelings, it is in the will. If we WANT to forgive ... we do forgive ... no matter what our feelings may “say” to us.

        The third point is that we must PRAY for those who have treated us unjustly. Keep in mind that usually people do bad things not because they THINK they are bad, but because they see a certain course of action as GOOD. Satan never makes a bad thing look bad. He makes it look good. That’s why people buy into it.

        So courage, dear reader. All is not lost. What we have to suffer from others is permitted by God for our sanctification. We must pray for the grace to react as true followers of Jesus. And if we fail, let’s get up and try again.

        God bless you!

July 9-18, 1999       volume 10, no. 132
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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