Have you ever held resentment in your heart? Perhaps it was for someone who hurt you by insulting remarks, or by neglect of you, or even lies about you. Every time you saw them or heard them or heard someone say something positive about them, you curled up inside and wished them something less than peace.
A few weeks ago, I was having my hair done, and picked up a magazine in the shop. It happened to be Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, “O”. Besides all the numerous ads there was a very interesting article about an interview Oprah had with Deepak Chopra while she was in India.
Almost at the beginning of the interview Deepak Chopra said, “I read a statement from Mr. Nelson Mandela that changed me forever. Mr. Mandela said having resentment against someone is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemy. I never forgot that.”
This great man of peace, who has written 65 books, was ready with that quote during this once-in-a-lifetime interview. That made me think.
Is there anyone toward whom I hold resentment? I found in my memory two people. Both have gone to their heavenly rewards, but I quaver inside when their names come up and I have to hold my tongue to prevent telling the hurtful situations in my life with them. I keep drinking poison hoping it will kill the memory of whatever it was that estranged me from them. How ridiculous can I get? I keep the memory alive and therefore, I poison myself!
I can just imagine what will happen when I meet these two people in heaven! I will have to look at my own sins and hurtful actions and perhaps see what a fool I have been.
Thank heavens our merciful God remembers only how much we loved, and not what our sins are. “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much!”
Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg
Oldenburg Franciscan Center