I wonder if the apostles struggled with Jesus’ prayer, The Our Father, as much as I do. The first challenge I remember in this area came when I was seven or eight years old. I had been sweeping the floor at the local newspaper office after school earning $6.25 a week. That would have been about 1952 or ‘53. I had saved up enough money to order this coveted yellow rain coat and hat resembling the Gloucester fisherman’s, which I saw in the Montgomery Ward’s catalog. I don’t ever remember wearing those items, but I do remember my mother sitting me down after school one day to tell me that my younger brother Tim had warn them that day and had torn the coat. To this day, I remember my desire for revenge welling up in me, as well as my mother’s insistence that forgiving my brother and moving on was the right thing to do.
I’d like to report that I’ve become an expert at this forgiving business, but that would be a lie. Day in and day out, people trespass against me. They don’t leave enough room for me on the sidewalk as we pass. They jump in front of me at the supermarket checkout line and worst of all, they leave their clothes in the dryers I share with my fellow condominium dwellers.
Thanks Matthew for sharing the prayer Jesus taught you and your fellow apostles. I hope you did better with its recommendations than I do today, but I’ll keep trying.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.