If we do not forgive others, God will neither forgive us nor accept any sacrifice we make

November 21, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 364

If it be hard to subdue your anger, excited by an injury from one of your fellow-creatures, consider how much more God has borne from you and how much He has endured for you.

Were you not His enemy when He shed the last drop of His blood for you? And behold with what sweetness and patience He bears with your daily offences against Him, and with what mercy and tenderness He receives you when you return to Him.

If anger urge that your enemy does not deserve forgiveness, ask yourself how far you have merited God’s pardon. Will you have God exercise only mercy towards you, when you pursue your neighbor with implacable hatred?

And if it be true that your enemy does not deserve pardon from you, it will be equally true that you do not deserve pardon from God. Remember that the pardon which man has not merited for himself Christ has superabundantly merited for him. For love of Him, therefore, forgive all who have offended you.

Be assured, moreover, that as long as hatred predominates in your heart you can make no offering which will be acceptable to God, Who has said: “If thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.” [St. Matt. v. 23, 24.]

Hence you can realize how grievous is the sin of enmity among men, since it causes an enmity between God and us, and destroys the merit of all our good works. “We gain no merit from good works,” says St. Gregory, “if we have not learned to endure injuries with patience.” [“Moral.,” xxi. 16.]

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