‘" But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:43-45
Dear Saint Raphael Parents & Friends:
In 1981, a man in the crowd at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, shot at Pope John Paul II. Despite severe blood loss, the pope asked Catholics to pray for this man whom he had “sincerely forgiven.” Two years later, Pope John Paul II visited the man in prison and had a private conversation with him. The pope stayed in touch with his family and in 2000 asked that he be pardoned. The man converted to Christianity while in prison.
I have found it difficult to pray for my ‘enemies,’ so the story of Pope John Paul II is helpful. Our ‘enemies’ are more likely to be those who anger or frustrate us. Forgiveness comes easily to those who are saints, like Pope John Paul II. Yet, we have those saints to model Christ-like behavior. And maybe, those moments of anger and frustration at someone is where we need God the most.
I sometimes bring two students who have gotten into some argument together in my office to reflect on what they have said or done and to try to make peace between them. I marvel at how the youngest children are quick to forgive and accept apologies. I think that as we get older, we hold onto grudges and our anger. As we pray for our ‘enemies’ we are also praying for the courage to forgive.
Thank you to all who participated in the online auction. Whether you donated an item or bid on one of the many offerings, you all helped the children of Saint Raphael’s.
The auction itself, Bella Notte-A Night in Venice, is this Saturday, February 25. I look forward to seeing the many parents, friends, and supporters of Saint Raphael School. Thank you to all who have been part of organizing this wonderful event for Saint Raphael School.
How often do the YouTube videos or Facebook postings of stories of kindness capture our attention? Do something extraordinary and offer kindness and forgiveness to someone who least expects it from you. Your children will then have a chance to see you the way I look at John Paul II, a model of peace and forgiveness. As difficult as that is, God calls us to be those models of forgiveness in our children’s lives.
Lydia Collins, Principal