For the month of November 2019, I am again taking up this prayer, daily. It was introduced to me by a friend about two years ago, and has come to be a truly necessary component of my prayer and spiritual growth. I find when I have blocks in areas of my spiritual life, this root of unforgiveness (which for me is connected to dominant vices of pride and anger, as well as wounds), seems to be that Jenga piece. When we ask Our Lord to come in with His virtues and His Most Precious Blood, ask Him do the healing in us and forgiving for us, despite our weak and broken hearts, it’s like He pulls that Jenga piece down. Those blocks standing in the way of peace and spiritual growth easily tumble away. I’ve allowed some blocks to pile up, and I know that this is one area of prayer I can add back in to help.
As I considered sharing this prayer with others publicly, my thoughts were drawn toward November and the common gratitude challenges we so often see - in Catholic, Christian, and secular cultures alike. While I have done a gratitude challenge before, and I think thanksgiving is extremely important, I have found that unforgiveness is a huge barrier to gratitude. I would take the leap to say that detached forgiveness and charity is necessary for us to truly be fully grateful. We are also in a culture and time where each of us is constantly wounded and resounded, whether it be in broken relationships or in healthy and holy relationships, justly felt or felt out of lack of humility on our part. Regardless, we are in constant need of forgiving others, of admitting the truth that we are owed nothing, and in need of doing our best to wipe any perceived debts away. The burdens that can be lifted when God grants this request for forgiveness in our hearts brings such lightness and joy to relationships, and refreshes our gratitude toward Him Who is All-Forgiving and Who is constantly forgiving us our true debts in His Mercy and Sacraments. So in lieu of a gratitude challenge this year, I am inviting you to a forgiveness challenge! Please join me in this super simple effort: praying the following prayer once a day, from November 1st to November 30th.
Lord Jesus Christ, Who revealed the infinite mercy of Thy Sacred Heart in saying: “Love thine enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44) and again, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Lk 6:28), give me, I beseech Thee, grace to obey these commandments of Thine, and to persevere in praying daily for those who, in any way, have abused, cursed, hurt, or rejected me.
I pray for those who hate me, for those who resent me and for those who have spoken ill of me. I beg Thee to bless them abundantly and to pour into their hearts such a profusion of healing mercies that in them and around them love will triumph over hatred, friendship over resentment, sweetness over bitterness, meekness over anger, and peace over enmity. I further ask Thee to extend these graces to their families and to all whom they hold dear.
In particular, I pray today for N. (and N.). I present him/her/them to Thy Eucharistic Face, asking Thee to envelop him/her/them in Its healing radiance, dispelling whatever shadows of sin may have darkened his/her/their mind(s) or hardened his/her their heart(s) in anger, hatred, or the refusal to forgive.
For my part, with deep sorrow I confess that I have sinned grievously against others, causing them pain and even endangering their souls. I pray Thee, O Merciful Jesus, to repair the evil I have done to others and to heal the hurt I have inflicted on them. In particular, I acknowledge my sins against N. (and N.) imploring Thee to heal and repair the harm I have done him/her/them.
I ask Thee so to penetrate my heart with the charity of Thy Pierced Heart that I will be able to forgive those who have offended me, to love them sincerely, and to desire for them all that will contribute to their true happiness in this life and in the next.
By means of a permanent intention, I desire to renew this prayer in every offering of Thy Holy Sacrifice. Let the light of Thy Eucharistic Face shine in the hearts of all who harbour hatred or resentment toward me, to bring them healing and peace. Let Thy Precious Blood triumph over evil in those against whom I have sinned and in those who have sinned against me, so that, delivered from the shadows of this valley of tears, we may one day praise Thy Mercy together in the sweetness of a boundless charity.
*This prayer was written by Father Mark Kirby, the original website is no longer active. I was introduced to this beautiful prayer by SwellLiving.org.
Download the above image to save to your phone screen or print; please do not alter the image.