Daily Reflection
November 13th, 2000
John Horn, S.J.
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Titus 1:1-9
Psalms 24:1-6
Luke 17:1-6

“Be on your guard.  If your brother does wrong, correct him; if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times a day turns back to you saying, ‘I am sorry,’ forgive him.”
               Luke 17:1-6

This familiar gospel call to choose to live each day with the constancy of a forgiving heart reminds me of the inner dynamics of resentment.  The word resentment carries a root meaning of re + sentir, to re-feel.  So often we carry resentments, failing to let go of them in faith.  The result is that we carry many unnecessary burdens as we re-feel the endless cycles of anger and hurts that could be replaced with Christ’s healing love and peace.  The inter-dynamics of resentment really suck life out of us and reduce us to living as slaves.

What follows is borrowed from a handout from the Catholic Health Association of Wisconsin.

Resent Somebody
The moment you begin resenting a person, you become a slave. 
He/She controls your dreams, absorbs your digestion, robs you of peace of mind and good will, and takes away the pleasure of your work. 
He/She ruins your religion and nullifies your prayers. 
You cannot take a vacation with his/her going along.
He/She destroys your freedom of mind and hounds you wherever you go. 
There is no way to escape the person you resent.
He/She is with you when you are awake; he/she invades your privacy when you sleep.
He/She is close beside you when you eat, when you drive your car, and when you are on the job

You can never have efficiency nor happiness.
He/She influences even the tone of your voice.
He/She requires you to take medicine for indigestion, headaches and loss of energy. 
He/She even steals your last moment of consciousness before you go to sleep.

So, if you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments! 

May we live a fuller life of faith in Christ Jesus by letting go of any resentments, and may we enjoy more so the freedom that flows from choosing to forgive with constancy. 


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