Some think the Galactic Empire is being channeled, and some think the Rebel Alliance has emerged victorious. Honestly, I think the rich are still getting rich, and I’ll still be in relatively the same place in 4 or 8 years regardless of the larger political world. And that is as it should be. My life should not be dictated, controlled or overly influenced by politicians. I still have neighbors and family members by and through whom I hope to become a better man.
In all situations we can only control one person. It is not our spouse (she told me I can’t). It is not our child (they all refuse to be civilized). It is not even my dog (or he would share more of my bed with me). The only person we can cause to react in the entire galaxy is ourselves. I can only change me. I cannot change you. Therefore, if there is a disagreement or a resentment, my only positive recourse is to love and forgiveness. Today, I am going to deal with the concept of forgiveness.
Let us look at two situations – father and son relationships where forgiveness was being offered.
Luke forgave his father for the damage that was done to himself. Luke showed Anakin that there was a path to forgiveness for himself. Only Anakin could make the decision to forgive himself in his utter pain. This anguish could be seen in his confusion at the height of the Emperor torturing Luke with the Force Lightening. Years ago, one of the bishops of my Church related this very prescient story for our day. As we are looking at an ever-changing social and political climate, and buffeted about by the uncertainty of our future, we must make ourselves vessels of forgiveness. Metropolitan Jonah wrote:
“There is a story in the desert fathers about a young novice who was told by his elder, “Go and yell at the rock.” So, for half a day, he went and yelled at a rock, insulted, berated, and cursed it. He went back to his elder, who told him, “Now, praise and flatter the rock.” So he went back and praised, flattered, and said nice things to the rock. He went back and his elder asked him, “How did the rock react when you praised it?” “It didn’t,” he said. “How did it react when you screamed at it and cursed it?” “It didn’t react,” he said. “So,” said the elder, “should you also be impervious to praise or [slander], and react to both in the same way, as did the rock.”