Day #28: The Goodness of God in Forgiveness
MARY: Do you want to give yourself an idea of the goodness of God and the hardness of creatures? Consider how God acts when he is offended and how men act! Oh how slight is human mercy, even nonexistent! Man pretends to pardon, but in reality does nothing but treat his offender harshly while always remembering the offense. He forgives when he no longer feels the impact and the anger; he forgives with difficulty. Yet the offender is a being like him, perhaps better than him.
Look at how inflexible man is when he punishes: the guilty person repents, begs, weeps, but the law strikes him, obliterates him, deprives him of freedom and is not placated until he has paid in full.
God is infinite, he who offends him is a poor worm. The offense which he receives is incommensurable, yet God calls the sinner to his heart, he entices him with the most delicate expressions, he searches for him like a lost treasure, like a little lamb from his own fold, like a beloved son. If God wants him to confess his sin, it is for the benefit of the sinner, so that, by humiliating himself, he may feel free of his weight and deserve forgiveness and may look on this as a blessed right and not a humiliating concession.
God does not despise the sinner, he does not look on him with severity nor reprove him, but embraces him, enriches him with grace, reclothes him with the garments of justice, puts on the ring of sonship on his finger and prepares the solemn banquet of the Eucharist for him. One single sincere word of love, one single sigh of the soul is enough to reconcile him to God, even before mildly humbling himself before God?s minister.
It is true that adversities befall sinners, but it is not God who wills the punishment and death of the wicked, it is rather the wicked who brings the adversities and disasters upon himself … And even these serve God?s purpose to call the sinner to himself when he doesn?t listen to the voice of love. Oh how great is God?s mercy! And you are still unsure about him? Do you not know that he considers himself greatly offended by lack of trust precisely because he is infinite goodness? Throw yourself into his arms, then, weep at his feet. In him you will always find the most tender and loving of fathers.
ASPIRATION: Forgive me, O Jesus, and have mercy on me in your great mercy.
LITTLE WORK: Forgive the one who has offended you so that God will forgive you in the same measure.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a ?Way of the Cross? ? But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)