Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Learning about FORGIVENESS.

by Sister Carolyn Law

As I mentioned in my first blog, September 9- 19th I participated in a 10 day training in Brain Integration Technique with Susan McCrossin who developed this protocol. She based it on her studies in neuroscience, psychology and her training is applied physiology with Richard Utt. I got interested in it when I realized that it would help my clients not only with processing academic information but emotional issues as well. I have already begun the protocol with several clients.

On another subject, I participate in my parish’s Pax Christi group. For the last year we have sponsored showing a film on some topic of peace and justice. We call this activity “Conscientious Projector.” We borrowed this name from a protestant church that has a similar program.

Our September movie was THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS. This movie came out last year after the killing of 5 Amish children in Nickle Mines, PA. The movie is not solely about the Amish by any means. It is packed full of inspirational stories that include examples of forgiveness from Northern Ireland, California, and interviews with professors and spiritual teachers such as Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh and Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor.

In Northern Ireland, where Protestants and Catholic have hated each other for years, there is a project to introduce forgiveness education in grade schools. In California, two men work together to bring the witness of power of forgiveness to youth. The two men are related in that one is the grandfather of a boy who killed the other man’s son.

One very interesting comment in the movie was that today 18 year olds have lived the last 7 years in an atmosphere of fear and revenge for what happened on September 11, 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC. The forgiveness of those who have harmed us is not easy. But its power is so needed in a world and especially our country that so easily turns to revenge. The Amish who live the words of Jesus to forgive 7 times 70 went to the killer’s widow to assure her that they forgave him. I doubt that I could so easily or quickly do so.

1 comment:

Paula said...

This is a wonderful post. I'm most moved by your insights around the "Millennial" generation (born from 1982-2002); these young people who have grown up with the fear cast upon us by unknown terrorists. It makes me think of my own generation (Gen X: 1965-81), and how many of us grew up with the unsettling fear of the Cold War. I have memories of thinking the sounds from airplanes above our house might actually be a nuclear bomb above us. Unfounded, but perhaps similar in its terror.

There's a new layer to this with our Millennials, though, and that is the forgiveness factor. The whole nation is one that is plagued by these deeds, ones that need to be forgiven, so that real healing can take hold. I feel that the fear and resentment set in motion by those acts has had a direct impact on our economy and our political environment.

Thank you for calling for this forgiveness, and for calling upon us all to rise above this fear.