Prelate: "Resentment can ruin the heart"

In the Mass celebrated in the basilica of Sant’Eugenio in Rome for the feast of Saint Josemaria, the Prelate of Opus Dei spoke about the need to forgive others and to be forgiven by God.

Referring to a text from the Gospel read before the Eucharistic celebration, the Prelate spoke about forgiveness. “Always being ready to forgive is an essential characteristic of the children of God. The Master, from the Cross, implored forgiveness for those who had nailed him there.”

“Following in Christ’s footsteps, Saint Josemaria and so many other faithful throughout the Church’s life have known how to forgive, without any resentment, those who have offended or harmed them. Do you know where the saints found strength to do so? In Christ’s love, shown in charity towards one’s fellow men and women, and especially in forgiveness. As Saint Josemaria said with simplicity and gratitude to God: “I haven’t needed to learn how to forgive, because our Lord has taught me how to love.”

Citing words of Pope Francis, he advised: “Let us say to the Lord, ‘I am angry with this person and that one. I pray for him and for her.’ Let us pray for those we are angry with. It is a good step forward in this law of love. Let us do so today.”

Bishop Echevarría also invited those present “to make a brief examination of conscience—without any scruples, but with sincerity—to discover if our heart harbors in any corner a bit of resentment towards anyone, or if we ever treat others a bit brusquely. It might not seem of great importance, but the resentment, the anger we sometimes allow to build up in our heart, can become a destructive worm that eats away at our most noble sentiments, those that show most clearly our condition as God’s children.”

The happiest moment in Don Alvaro’s life

Finally, he spoke briefly about Bishop Alvaro del Portillo: “Many people have seen in him a man and a priest of great humanity and goodness. One only had to speak briefly with him to be filled with peace, because each person felt loved and respected. He reflected the Gospel tone he had learned from Jesus and from the example of Saint Josemaria. I recall now how he had recourse to the sacrament of Penance, to feel he was forgiven and also to learn ever better how to forgive wholeheartedly those who, for whatever reason, hadn’t treated him well.”

“Once a journalist asked him what had been the happiest moment in his life. I remember very well his rapid response: Each time I receive God’s forgiveness in confession.”

The Prelate ended by citing some words of Don Alvaro from 1991: “The divine Master teaches us that loving means understanding, excusing, forgiving, helping, giving oneself and serving, as he himself did, to the point of giving his very life.”