There are 7 petitions in the Our Father. One in particular is terrifying.
“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We pray it at every Mass.
But have you ever really stopped to think about what you’re saying in the 5th petition of the most famous prayer in the world? “God, don’t forgive us unless we forgive everybody else who has ticked us off, stabbed us in the back, taken our stuff, or in any other manner wronged us.” Yikes!
One of the primary ways we love God is through loving others. It’s part two of Jesus’ command to love God and love neighbor. If we can’t open our hearts to forgive those who have harmed us, we can’t be open to receive God’s love either.
Is it hard? Uhhhh…Do people spend an inordinate amount of time watching cats on the internet?
But, in asking God to forgive us, an exercise of humility, he gives graces to help us forgive others. God’s cool that way. He knows we can’t do it on our own, so he’s constantly giving us help as he calls us to greater holiness.
And we need it! Because living charitably with others is the only way we can reasonably ask God for his charity and forgiveness.