So the kittens have taught me another lesson. (I can only reasonably promise that this blog won’t turn into a Cat-holic blog :))
This past weekend they had a fight. I’m not sure what started it, but I noticed that Boomer did not want to share her cool new toy with her sister. After trying to get them both to play together, I had to be firm and just take the toy away. I’m sure this happens with animals, just as with children, but it hurt me as their mommy that they wouldn’t play together. And of course, as I reflected on this new experience for me as their caretaker, I looked for the insight that it could also provide on our divine Caretaker.
God places us with the people around us for a reason. He, along with our Blessed Mother, probably does worry when we fight with those we are supposed to love.
As our kittens coolly ignored each other, I begged St. Francis to convey a message to them – I wanted to let them know how hurtful their fight was, I wanted to tell them, “Make up with each other! You two are all you have as far as cat-folk in your new world.”
I mused with my husband how we would behave differently if we knew that we were the only humans that we’d ever spend our lives with. Would it be easier to forgive? To compromise?
Jesus taught us specifically that when we have a problem with our brother or sister, we should first address the problem with him or her directly (Matthew 18:15). This is good advice! Talking with too many people about a private problem may lead to gossip or further problems down the line. Respectfully discussing a problem together can help clarify any misconceptions and ensure that bad feelings aren’t nursed over a longer period of time.
Looking to our Saint leaders, we see that they forgave in heroic circumstances. They forgave those who were executing them in horrendous ways, as well as those who sought to assault or demean them. True forgiveness is probably something that takes us a lifetime to learn. But it’s something we’re all called to do (Matthew 18:22).
For some reason, God puts us in close quarters with those around us, and He handpicks the group. Who do you need to forgive? Pray about how you can give forgiveness or receive the humility to ask for forgiveness. I would caution against talking to a close friend who may know the person you need to forgive, as you want to err away from gossip. Remember that what’s important is that YOU forgive, even if it is not extended back to you. Focus on the fact that forgiveness is good for you as well as the other party, and more importantly, our Father pleads with us to do it.
I have the tiniest insight into God’s feelings as He watches us in heaven, and the pain caused when He sees His children fight.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my little beauties did make up 🙂
This week’s song is one that I recommend you know and pray often. The Divine Mercy chaplet is a beautiful prayer, and even more fun to sing! I think this particular melody really invokes a sense of our sorrow for sin and our desire for God’s mercy.
Note: Reflections in this blog are my own and do not represent the positions of my employer.