The Bear Hug

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” —Sirach 27:30

Our natural tendency is to give a bear-hug to wrath, anger, and unforgiveness. When we are in a bear hug, we can’t hug anyone else. We can’t even hold anyone else’s hand or touch them. When we are hugging unforgiveness, we can’t hug God or even be in touch with Him. Nor can we hug our spouses or children. When we are captured in the bear hug of unforgiveness, we live a godless, loveless life. We are handed “over to the torturers” (Mt 18:34).

Only God can free us from the slavery and suffocation of the bear hug of unforgiveness. The old saying is true: “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” Only God can give us the power to forgive. Jesus, Who commands us to forgive seventy times seven (Mt 18:22), is giving to us at this moment the grace to forgive all those who have wronged us in any way. Decide right now to accept His grace. By the power of Jesus, forgive everyone for everything ever done against you. The bear hug is broken. You are free; you can breathe again; you can love again. You can hug God.

PRAYER: Father, if I am unwilling to forgive, change my heart.

PROMISE: “While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants.” —Rm 14:8

PRAISE: Praise Jesus, Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), Healer, Lord, Resurrection and Life! Alleluia!

(From a reflection by a member of the editorial team of the late Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries)

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john Portelli

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