To Love is to Forgive, By Father Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J.
Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and our Consoler, and that is exactly what He is. Jesus said He would not leave us orphaned and that He would send us the Holy Spirit to teach us and remind us of all that He said. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is still healing today just as He healed almost two thousand years ago. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us and He has healed many of my painful hurts of the past.
I'd like to share one of those healings with you now that occurred with Jerilyn. She told me, "My dad and I had a good relationship only when I was a small child. Daddy was an alcoholic most of his life, but two years before his death, he was healed of that spiritual sickness. As my dad lay dying in his bed in our family home, I could hear him asking over and over for God to forgive him. I knew that I needed to grant him my forgiveness and tell him that I loved him, but I could not seem to bring myself to say the words. At the time I was still living a life of sin and had not allowed Jesus to be the Lord of my life yet. There was still much resentment and bitterness locked up inside of me for the lack of love, misunderstanding, and embarrassment caused me by my father's alcoholism. So my dad's physical condition worsened and he went on to his eternal reward without my ever-even saying, "I love you." Daddy was on good terms with God before he died and I am so grateful for that!
"One day several years ago, about five years after Daddy's death, as I was praying alone in my apartment, I experienced a most profound vision. Jesus came to me and alongside Jesus stood my dad. As I looked into Daddy's eyes, feelings welled up within me that had not been there for a long, long time. For the first time since grammar school, love for my dad was in my heart and I was able to say to him, "Daddy, I love you and I miss you", and I really meant it. He said to me, 'Thank you, Jerilyn, and I love you,' and walked away with Jesus arm in arm with a smile on his face, waving to me. Then the Holy Spirit said to me, 'Now, I am healing also your relationship with your Heavenly Father.' The tears of love and joy at what God was doing for me without my even asking Him overwhelmed me. Our God is a God of unlimited surprises! What great riches He has in store for us.
"Fr. Robert DeGrandis first taught me that forgiveness is healing and was one of the instruments God used for many inner healings in my life after beginning my journey of daily forgiveness and healing."
it is never too late to forgive. In this testimony of J.G., the Holy Spirit provided the opportunity to enter into a deep moment of forgiveness even though the parent had died. Is there anyone who has gone on to the next life whom we need to forgive? Ask Jesus for the grace to be humble and wise enough to extend pardon.
Father Robert DeGrandis, the author of 33 books on the power of healing, is a member of the Society of St. Joseph, serving the world wide charismatic Catholic community. This article was condensed from "To Love is to Forgive" © 1997 Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J., which is available from H.O.M Books, (508) 454-7408. Used with permission of the author. He will be back in San Francisco with his healing ministry for our May 1999 First Friday Mass .
Read other articles of spiritual enlightenment in the November 1998 edition of The San Francisco Charismatics or return to the Main Menu by clicking on the blue.