By SOPHIE DRUFFNER
'Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; but this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out
“Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
This is the prayer that each of us must say when we pray for the terrorists, the abortionists, the dictators of the world. This is the prayer that each of us must say when we hear someone say something cutting about us, or untrue. This is the prayer that we pray that others remember when we say something against them. The whole world must know this prayer.
People are just people. Most people don't think through decisions before they make them, and all of us possess the power to justify whatever we do, whether that be choosing to eat an extra dessert or a decision that will affect the outcomes of nations. Most of us prefer not to think of the negative consequences of a decision, preferring to believe that as long as we believe that something will happen, it will.
Because of our capacity to blind ourselves from reality and reason, we must be able to forgive others when they choose to do the same, regardless of how powerful they might be. We need not agree, and we might fight against their decision, but we must forgive them, because we are all God's children and he forgives us. All of us.
He forgives those who perform embryonic stem cell research and create humans just to destroy them. He forgives those who perform abortions and those who aid in them. He forgives those who assist in physician-assisted suicide, and those who shoot before they think. He forgives the terrorists, the murderers, the rapists, the whole world. He forgives because He is all-giving and completely loving. And he forgives them, and us, when we sin because we are his children and he knows that we sometimes forget to think before we speak, before we act. He knows that sometimes we put the blinders on. He knows that sometimes we get lost and don't want to come back to Him because we think that He will condemn us for our blindness. He knows that sometimes we fall into despair about the state of the world, forgetting that there are so many people in Heaven praying for us and our world. Remember—all the saints, all those who went through what we are going through, praying, hoping, and knowing that we will make a difference in our world! All those who suffered being burned in the Roman gardens or shot at the hands of their government, all those who were fed to the lions or executed as heretics, all those who suffered all their lives, all of those strong, beautiful souls are praying just for the whole world! They were real. They lived our life. And now they are cheering for us.
So forgive and remember that in the game of Life, we are the players. Remember that we, as John Paul II said, “are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.” Let's make that our fight song. Remember that we have cheerleaders, all the Saints, cheering for us, complete with yellow-and-white pompoms for the Vatican. Remember that if we have all these people, all this joy on our side, we cannot lose. We will win.