Trouble forgiving? Here’s some encouragement.


One of the most difficult things I’ve ever ever ever had to do is forgive myself. (I’m still not sure if I’ve made it all the way there yet.)

I recall one mid-morning in particular when I became very vulnerable with God. What I thought would be a soliloquy started something like this:

“Lord, I know I’m supposed to forgive myself. And I know forgiveness means realizing that I am not my failures. But how can I just let this go, when my actions were so detrimental to my life? How can I just wipe that all away? I am just so tired. I want to move forward from here.”

By that time, my knees had hit the floor and my hands were holding my face, wet with tears. Right then, a thought entered my mind: a field of flowers. I heard an interior voice tell me, “I need the dirt to grow the flowers.” It made more sense to me than any amount of theological research or counselor’s advice.

God works like that. He is so awesome.

Mind you, I am still digesting all that. But yesterday, I was reminded of the whole experience by reading some words of “the little Arab” mystic, Blessed Mariam of Jesus Crucified, a Galilean Carmelite. In one of her prayer ecstacies, she said,

In heaven, the most beautiful souls are those that have sinned the most and repented. But they made use of their miseries like manure around the base of the tree.

When I read those words, my entire world stopped for a second. I was consoled.

God works like that. He is so awesome.

I hope you’re encouraged to remember that all the filth, dirt, and downright crappy experiences in your life can be transformed in the hands of the man Mary Magdalene mistook for a gardener.

She wasn’t quite mistaken.



  1. I thought you would be interested in the prayer that was in Magnificat on Monday:

    O Lord our God, you have replanted on our earth the garden lost in Eden, and you have sent a new Gardener to till the soil plowed by the wood of the cross. He who is both the farmer and the seed has watered the earth with his life’s blood, shed for our redemption. Make us grow in his likeness by the power of his word dwelling in our hearts. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

  2. I have found it more difficult to forgive myself than to forgive others. Thank God for our Lord and Savior. Thank you Ms. Angela for the encouragement!

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