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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2011 > Sermon 557 : September 11th, 2001 - Anger and Forgiveness : 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time
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    Sermon 557 : September 11th, 2001 - Anger and Forgiveness : 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

    9/11/2011
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    While we are justified in our anger at perpetrators of 9/11, we must ultimately move to a stance of forgiveness. Christians must always remember Christ's command to forgive always. Forgiveness is the act by which you bring the other into the matrix of love. It is very difficult but necessary. Hopefully we can do this for those who committed the grievous crimes of 9/11.
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Comments
Felix Chau
Thanks for another great message on the inner workings of anger, love, and forgiveness. The inner motive of redemption as the foundation of forgiveness was very insightful along with the illustrative examples of Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, and John Paul II. Keep up the great work... thanks again!
9/7/2011 7:28:11 AM
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Kathy
Father Barron, any suggestions how us common men can forgive God when we feel have been ravidged? God Speed!
9/8/2011 4:28:36 PM
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Kathy
Fr. Barron, any suggestions on how us common men can forgive God The Father when we feel we have been ravidged? God Speed!
9/8/2011 4:30:39 PM
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Kathy
I am not King or Ghandi, I am not a hero, I am not an angel, I am merely one woman whose life was changed forever. Maybe staring into space, holding my breath every time my daughter drives back into NYC, having been once covered with brick, will work. Do I forgive so God will forgive me? Forgive God too? How close does The Lord of Lies come before Jesus redeems even him? God Speed!
9/8/2011 4:41:33 PM
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Kathy
This is my 3rd comment on your sermon. It is an apology. Your sermon, and my own response, led me to speak with a Franciscan Brother about anger towards God. He advised me to seek out Confession, and through this Sacrament, reconciliation with God, and people and events, (like 9/11, like hurricanes) would come. And I thought of the epistle for today, in Isa. 58, "Release those bound unjustly..". In forgiveness, not only do I release those I yoked with my anger, I myself, imprisoned in anger, am released. So forgive my harsh comments, thank-you for this wonderful sermon, and for helping us 'take no prisoners'. God Speed!
9/9/2011 1:06:36 PM
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Larry
Do we have to forgive the unrepentant?
9/9/2011 2:39:19 PM
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Ikechukwu
I must confess livıng a practical christianıty is not easy. I pray for his divine grace to be able to forgive and forget. Fr Barron have really made another wonderful expository of the need to forgıve.
9/10/2011 3:43:13 PM
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Joe
I think Larry has asked a great question. I would love to hear the answer to that. Thanks for your wonderful ministry!
9/11/2011 9:25:07 AM
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JB
@ Larry & Joe.

Yes. Consider Christ on the cross: "forgive them Father they know not what they do."

Not only were Christ's executors guilty they were unrepentent and ignorant of their evil. To some the evil even seemed good. And yet Christ tried to extend a transformative forgiveness and mercy toward them.

And we are asked to embody Christ.
9/11/2011 4:25:04 PM
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James
I feel for all who have been truly wounded deeply, in whatever way, and struggle with anger and bitterness toward whomever or whatever, or even toward God. There is always a lot of huffing and puffing done within Christian circles when discussing "forgiveness".

None of us really want to remain in a place of anger and bitterness and guilt. When someone is expressing difficulty with forgiveness,and the anger and bitterness that usually accompanies it, the LAST thing that person needs to hear are glib, sanctimonious platitudes quoted from Biblical texts.

A little compassion for the abused goes an awful long way, don't you think. But the sanctimonious find this compassion very difficult, and prefer to make abstract, holier than thou observations regarding the pain and anger of the "less holy". I too, am struggling with anger and bitterness due to a lifetime filled with abuse and struggle. What do I hear from the holy-rollers? "Everyone has these struggles. You must forgive as Jesus forgives you."

Well, all I know is that those who have truly had these struggles, deeply, don't give glib and sanctimonious advice to the ones who presently are searching for a way to be free from them. We instinctively know when we are trapped in anger and bitterness due to abuse and hardship. And we also know glib, sanctimonious responses to our problem are basically, BS.

Yes, you can nail me as an angry, unforgiving, unChristian man. Well, I ain't done yet! I know that a phony, glib answer to my honest search for His peace is even less Christian. Those of you who advise, "Look at the Cross." You need to try to understand your own advice. If we are to be like Christ-crucified, glib judgment of others' honest struggles with anger hardly reflects a life embodied in Christ.

Show some true compassion, or do you imagine that's not His way? Pharisees and hypocrites made Jesus quite angry. And if we are to be like Jesus, then maybe we'll be angry too, but at some point, willing to die for the pitiful, little control freaks. But you know what, wasn't it Ringo Starr who sang that song,
"It Don't Come Easy." Love you all, but still struggling. JJ ;*)
9/12/2011 3:41:49 PM
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q
Fr. Barron mentions "hugging your resentment tight because you need it to affirm your own sense of moral superiority"; I think there can be other more complicated reasons to remain bitter.

Some poor souls stay angry to avoid self-examination, eschewing feelings of weakness, shame, humility, despair, sadness: the anger may even be a tether to sanity and hope.

Also, those suffering ongoing abuse may find their anger a vital defensive shield for protection against submission; I think this falls under the "anger tethered with love" category since we are taught to love ourselves. But abuse and suffering without end can twist all these emotions into unhealthy ends.

Perhaps this is where @James is coming from; any presumption of moral inferiority in him would be ungracious and off-putting.

I pray that @James will find this message a bit more palatable than a simple "Look at the Cross"? I think that prayer and contemplation (focusing on Christ) is a very powerful weapon against these demons. The goal of focusing on Christ is to draw him nearer to you, to be more like him and have him in you. Christ *wants* to be near you and to help you and to live in you, and he will prevail in the end.
9/13/2011 9:40:01 PM
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James
Being near to Jesus I think at times necessarily involves experiencing pain, anguish, betrayal,and rejection. And those experiences will not be without many accompanying human emotions.

But within our unattractive human emotions, there too, is Jesus. Perhaps even nearer than to those who hide from that honest expression of the human condition. This is one thing I think maybe Jesus wants from us. To be perfectly honest with ourselves, with others, and with Him. It is very easy to fool ourselves, to fool others, but we can not fool God. God knows when we are posing for others and ourselves, and He knows when we are being honest. We do an awful lot of posing which is just a kind of road block for the Holy Spirit to work. Denial. What is it we're so afraid of.

More than the World

The more the world abandons me
The more I am drawn so near to Christ.

The more the world rejects my love
The more I give my love to Him.

The more the wise and learned judge me
The more I trust Him like a little child.

The more the powerful of the world condemn me
The more His mercy I obtain through Mary.

The more the spirit of the world attacks me
The more the Queen of Heaven protects me.




I can't imagine Jesus finding anything less palatable than spiritual hypocrisy. It seems that was what He liked the very least about us.

God bless.
9/14/2011 7:05:28 PM
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Robert
I am a little confused by Fr. Barron's great message. Everything made sense, except this: Fr. Barron referred to the people who attacked the world trade center as "wicked, evil". But he says that forgiveness is a matter of bringing the sinner back into the realm of our community. When we use the words "wicked" or "evil" referring to another person, aren't we specifically excluding their humanity? Aren't we saying "they are not one of us"? Maybe Fr. Barron, like all of us, struggles to forgive, and until forgiveness is complete the perception remains: those people are evil?
7/27/2012 10:36:09 AM
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