How to not hold grudges


#1

I hold a grudge against my sister for the things she did to my father before he died, and for what she continues to do to my niece, my mother and the rest of my family; she is wickedly cruel. I’ve never held a grudge for anything she’s done to me. Am I supposed to forgive her trespasses against my family? Can you help me figure out how to do it? Am I supposed to forget all she’s done and continues to do?

Thanks for your answers, you are always very helpful. God bless you.


#2
 I struggle with holding grudges too. I've tried for many years to let go of things - some serious, some not so serious. I've found that with the passing of time and with prayer I've been able to forgive - unfortunately I've never been able to forget. 

 I think that forgiveness is extremely important, sadly it's not an easy thing to do. With Gods strength it's amazing the things we can do, including forgiving those who have wronged us or who have wronged our loved ones.

As for how to go about forgiving someone completely that’s a tough one since things affect us all differently (the intensity/longevity of the act). Since your sisters act(s) are still in the works all I can do is pray that you will find inner peace with Gods help.


#3

Yes, you have to forgive, - but forgiveness does not mean forgetting, in fact you have to acknowledge that there has been some kind of wrong done - otherwise you would not have to forgive.

First, you have to want to forgive, sometimes it is extremely difficult but if you cannot forgive from your heart, make the decision that you want to forgive, and pray - pray for this grace for yourself, talk to Jesus why you feel hurt by the actions of your sister, talk to some close friend/priest - someone who can just listen to you. Don’t worry if you do not get peace overnight, sometimes you have to struggle with this - I did - but that also shows you how hard it is to be a Christian and forgive 77 times which means forgive ALWAYS.

And above all - pray a lot for your sister, pray that God will bless her and pray that He will forgive her actions.

And remember, you have to forgive if you want to be happy and have peace.
And it is possible to forgive with the grace of Jesus - nothing is impossible with God after all


#4

Forgive the past, take caution in the present, and hope for the future. Remember: You can only love Jesus as much as the person you love the least…teachccd

“Why are you persecuting me?” – Jesus (Acts 9:4)


#5

Snowy,

This is the one area of sin that I struggle with. I have endured great wrongs against me over many years, from different people.

There has been so much against me since childhood that I have seriously questioned whether my life was cursed before I was born.

Saying, “well just remember that you can only love Jesus as much as you love the person you love the least”, is very flippant and unhelpful. The person who said this cannot possibly understand what it is like to endure extreme, cruel injustice over a long period of time.

There are a couple of things that I can share with you that have helped me. First, I realized as a result of my experiences, I had developed a wrong attitude toward God. I was not really conscious of this attitude, though. I had come to believe that 1) God hated me, and was responsible for what I had endured, and 2) God could not be trusted, since He provided no means of rescue for me.

I realized that this was untrue, because 1) The Enemy hates me, not God, and the Enemy is responsible, and 2) it may appear that God has made no means of rescue for me, but it is only because His rescue is hidden, and because God sees the great glory that can come to Himself through the patient endurance of suffering.

After realizing these things, it became easier to address the actual people themselves and to forgive them. When I understood that God was truly God of the situation, and had a higher purpose, then I could pray for my enemies. Because it is so difficult to do so spontaneously from the heart, I rely on the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I say decades for each person I hold a grudge toward.


#6

That came from Jesus Himself but then we all know that He never endured any pain…teachccd :confused: :shrug: :eek:


#7

I didn’t call Jesus or His words flippant, I called your response flippant. :wink:

Perhaps the OP had a different reaction.


#8

My response is true, flippant as you may find it…teachccd


#9

No doubt that it is true, but truth can be used flippantly.

Of course, it was a response to someone else, and it is entirely possible that she found your words encouraging and helpful. I would not have perceived them as empathetic, but that is my own reaction.


#10

Thank you. I still don’t know how to do it: If my sister hurts me, I forgive her, and when she hurts me again I forgive her again; I’ve been doing this all my life without a problem. She hurt my father in his death bed, and I can rationalize that since my father forgave her there’s no reason why I shouldn’t, but it still feels like forgiving her would be like dishonoring my father. She still hurts my mother and my niece, and forgiving her seems to mean that I accept what she does.

I’m sure that Jesus forgave the money changers in the Temple after he got them out, but I don’t think he could have been forgiving them while he was chasing them out. If they had come back, he would have whipped them again in an act that doesn’t seem forgiving; and if the situation had repeated itself day after day, I can assume that he would have continued to whip them; after all they were offending his Father, not himself. How can you whip and forgive at the same time?

I hope I’m making some sense.


#11

I apologize for my non- pastoral response but when we realize that we can only love Jesus as much as the person we love the least we find that at all costs we must move in that direction. Many times Jesus spoke in a manner that one may consider “flippant” or even arrogant, for that matter but He spoke the truth. Yes, perhaps you are available for a good emphatic counseling session and praise God for that. I am very good at that many times myself if you’ve read any of my past 2000+ posts but the Spirit moved me to make that statement at that particular time and as you said it was directed to her not you. These forums are most difficult in that we cannot see faces or hear the tones of our voices. Much gets lost there but then we can only use the tools we have. God Bless you and thank you for keeping me on my toes and for your diligence…teachccd :slight_smile:


#12

It makes perfect sense and no one says that it is easy.

Maybe the more appropriate question is, “How can you be whipped and forgive at the same time?” Jesus answered that when we hung Him on the Cross as He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”…teachccd


#13

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

My priest suggested in Confession that I pray for anyone who I need to forgive. I might also suggest (and this comes purely from me who often lacks knowledge and am often wrong) that you try to love your sister and sincerely want for her to go to heaven. In your mind, every time she does a wicked deed, pity her and pray for her conversion so that she will not meet eternal damnation. As a Christian, we ought to believe that our souls’ final resting place is of utmost importance and that any ministry that we do should minister to the soul before the body. Also, think of loving her as you would want Mary and Jesus to love you… even if you were the most horrible sinner on earth such as St. Paul, wouldn’t you want them to still care? We always pray *“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” in the Our Father. *

If you do pray for her, the rosary is highly recommended by St. Louis Mary de Montfort. About his book The Secret of the Rosary, montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html someone once said, “Probably the finest book ever written about the Rosary; appeals to all ages. Shows the great spiritual power of the Rosary, which is appreciated by few.” And True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis Mary de Montfort (ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm) is a great way to obtain the grace to forgive, for all graces come from the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. St. Maximilian Maria followed True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and also changed his name from Kolbe to Maria to venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He sheltered 2,000 Jews in his friary during the Holocaust. When taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp, he offered to die in place of another prisoner for that prisoner had family and he did not. He was starved and dehydrated for three weeks but continued leading the others in prayer and praise to Jesus and Mary. Finally, they killed him with a shot of carbolic acid, and the Jewish Virtual Library honors him as Righteous Among Nations. jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Kolbe.html
He followed this devotion, and devoted his efforts to spreading it, and I believe it gave him remarkable graces. consecration.com provides more information about him.

Besides, if you say the Rosary or at least a Hail Mary for your sister every time she commits an offense or you struggle with forgiving her, you also accumulate numerous benefits for yourself.

From The Secret of the Rosary, Eighteenth Rose: The Hail Mary-Blessings

This Heavenly Salutation draws down upon us the blessings of Jesus and Mary in abundance, for it is an infalliable truth that Jesus and Mary reward in a marvelous way those who glorify them. They repay us a hundredfold for the praises that we give them. “I love them that love me… that I may enrich them that love me and fill their treasures.” Jesus and Mary have always said: “We love those who love us; we enrich them and fill their treasuries to overflowing.” “He who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings.”

Now, if we say the Hail Mary properly, is not this a way to love, bless, and glorify Jesus and Mary?

In each Hail Mary, we bless both Jesus and Mary: “Blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

By each Hail Mary, we give Our Lady the same honor that God gave her when He sent the Archangel Gabriel to greet her for him. How could anyone possibly think that Jesus and Mary, who often do good to those that curse them, could ever curse those that bless and honor them by the Hail Mary?

Both Saint Bernard and Saint Bonaventure say that the Queen of Heaven is certainly no less grateful and conscientious than gracious and well-mannered people of this world. Just as she excels in all other perfections, she surpasses us all in the virtue of gratitude; so she would never let us honor her with love and respect without repaying us one hundredfold. Saint Bonaventure says that Mary will greet us with grace if we greet her with the Hail Mary.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#14

Snowy,

You mentioned that she still does hurtful things.

Scripture exhorts us to correct others. And, as long as we give correction gently, then our conscience is clear. If the person who is doing the hurting takes the correction badly then it is their problem not yours.


#15

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

continuation ->Who could possibly understand the graces and blessings with the greeting and tender regard of Our Lady effect in us? From the very first instant that Saint Elizabeth heard the greeting that the Mother of God gave her, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and the child in her womb leaped for joy. **If we make ourselves worthy of the greeting and blessings of Our Lady, we shall certainly be filled with graces and a flood of spiritual consolations will come down into our souls. **

And the Hail Mary is also a wonderful tool for conversion. From the Secret of the Rosary, **The Seventeenth Rose: The Hail Mary- Fruits, **

excerpt from the end of the chapter -> "The Hail Mary is a blessed dew that falls from heaven upon the souls of the predestinate. It gives them a marvelous spiritual fertility so that they can grow in all virtues.* The more the garden of the soul is watered by this prayer, the more enlightened one’s intellect becomes, the more zealous his heart, and the stronger his armor against his spiritual enemies.*

The Hail Mary is a sharp and flaming shaft which, joined to the Word of God, gives the preacher the strength to pierce, move and convert the most hardened hearts even if he has little or no natural gift for preaching.

As I have already said, this was the great secret that Our Lady taught Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan so that they might convert heretics and sinners.

Saint Antoninus tells us that this is why many priests got into the habit of saying a Hail Mary at the beginning of their sermons .

Finally, I recommend to you St. Monica and St. Rita. Though the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a fountain of all virtues and graces through the Holy Spirit and her intercessory prayer will be over-abundantly more helpful than the intercessory prayer of any other saint, St. Monica is noteworthy because her husband converted on his deathbed and her son, St. Augustine, converted (correct me if I am wrong as I often am) I believe in his middle age. Much of their conversion is attributed to her lifelong prayer. St. Rita is noteworthy because she is a saint of impossible or lost causes; according to the history I have read, both her husband and her sons lived sinful lives. For almost 20 years, she had to endure sinfulness: including insults, infidelities, abuse, and disregard from God from her family.

May Jesus and Mary grace us with gifts through the Holy Spirit!! May this post bring glory to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary!!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#16

The way to get over holding a grudge against someone is to do exactly what you don’t want to do…pray for them to be blessed.

You cannot hate someone for whom you are praying God to bless them. At first this will be very very difficult, and you may pray for them with clenched teeth and a tight fist. But, don’t get discouraged. Keep on praying for them, every day, and help them in any way you can. You’re anger and resentment will go away.

I speak from deep experience in this area! :wink:

God bless you!
John


#17

Hi Snowy. I would advise you to think of Our Lord, as He hung dying on the Cross. Do you remember His words? He said:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Thank God, that Our Savior did not hold a grudge. I think this will make it easier for you (and all of us) to find forgiveness in our hearts. Please pray for your sister (I’ll pray for her, too; I understand where you’re coming from… because of a similar situation). God bless you.


#18

The key to forgiving someone you hold resentments toward is to pray for that person daily until you are no longer resentful towards them. Pray for all the things that you personally want for in life for that other person.


#19

When someone does something wrong to us the best thing for us to do even for ourselves is to forgive them. Then be careful around them in the future and try not to let what they do get to you. Pray for them and try to ignore their actions or don’t let them see that it bothers you. In the Our Father we ask God to forgive us the way we forgive others so realizing that we ask to be forgiven the way we forgive should make us want to forgive. As for the hurt, we should do our best to forgive that, too. When we forgive we are at peace, our blood pressure doesn’t go up and the person who wronged us doesn’t get to live rent free in our brain. Forgiveness makes us both spiritually and physiically healthier. God bless you and give you peace,


#20

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