She Was Still My Mother

A story of forgiveness.

She Was Still My Mother

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When Jesus taught his disciples the Our Father, he elaborated on only one of the petitions—the one on forgiveness: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:14-15).

The following example of forgiveness so moved me some years ago, when I was a parish priest, that I recorded it in my journal. I share it here in the hope that you, too, will be inspired by the story of this beautiful woman. May her example be a call for us to let go of any deep-seated hurts and to forgive others from the heart.

February 5, 1990. Today I buried a saint. Her name was Catherine Wilson. Since I’ve only been at this parish for a short time, I didn’t get to meet her until she was admitted to the hospital in December. As we talked, I discovered that although she had undergone surgery for the removal of a malignant tumor, her only concern was to resume her visits to the veterans’ hospital. She had volunteered there for…

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