The road to Calvary is not an easy one. Neither is it necessary for us to add penance by increasing the load we carry. A burden not imposed, but personally chosen, whatever it may be.
By way of shifting paradigm, consider this.
Consider the conscience ruled by an unforgiving nature.
How do we weigh in kilos and grams, pounds and ounces, the weight carried by the heart, mind, soul, and conscience, the load on the bearer who carries unforgiveness?
What may we say of the countenance shown upon his face, of the one who hoards the weight of unforgiveness as hiding a secret treasure?
Or the weight shown upon the shoulders, sloping downward, affecting the back, bent forward weighed down by this unseen, but heavy burden. This burden of a deep grudge is called bitterness, resentment, animosity, self-victimization.
Conscience doesn’t want it, shifting the weight to the heart. The heart not desiring it, moving it again to the unconscious mind. The lower psyche doesn’t want it, pushing it to the surface, where the conscious mind begins picking at it, like a nagging sore tooth. Inflaming anger once again over a long past, or recent event of perceived wrong-doing, insult, or personal grievance.
Perhaps it is something only imagined. Or that may happen soon, or far. Or could happen at any time.
Forgive-less, grudge, wronged, victimized, hurt. Never forget. Anger, revenge, vengeance. In so many imagined ways, get even. Return pain for pain, hurt for hurt, slight for slight, insult for insult: two, ten, twenty-fold. Never forget.
The weight-bearing down.
Heavier and heavier,
upon the carrier.
Listing the many slights, naming them one by one. Piling them higher and higher. Making the burden grow. Carrying them like a personal cross, on the way to crucifixion. Crucify the evildoers, each, and every single one. The road has no end, as the growing list of them. The road is a weary and well-trodden path. Familiar. Without comfort.
Is not the burden becoming too much? The weight is overpowering. The task is far and endless. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel is collapsing upon itself. Is there no escape for the carrier of this burdensome load? One, and One only.
Christ Jesus, the Savior from all burdens!
The Savior stands before, with hands opened palm:
“Forgive. Pass them to me.
Each, and every single one.
Two, ten, twenty-fold.
Forgive, and forgive again.
Forgive, and feel the weight come off.
Forgive, and feel the heart grow light.
Forgive, and hardened features will melt.
Forgive, and feel each forward step less fight.”
Forgive, knowing wrong is never right, but each wrong doer has his own plight.
Forgive, knowing you, yourself need forgiveness on the best of sleepless nights.
Forgive, for the Savior says it’s right.
As He forgives you the nails, and your slights.
Forgive. And feel the strength of His might.
Forgive. As He gives the clarity of His sight.
Forgive. And this endless night
will lead to a bright
and lingering morning light.
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18: 21-22
“If I wished to punish my enemy — I would make him hate somebody!” -Hannah Moore (1745 – 1833)