Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | ‘To forgive is divine’

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Father Ho Lung praying for a woman.

The devil is the adversary, or enemy. He is a slanderer, a condemner. But in the Christian faith, while facing up to our wrongs, we do not judge or condemn, we evaluate whether an act is wrong or right. But the condemner is the devil, hostile not only to man but also to God. It is part of his work to make people feel bad and be full of guilt and fear and finally to give up that they can ever be good enough to do the work of God or to please Him.

On the other hand, Psalm 103 tells us: “The Lord is kind and merciful, ­merciful and gracious is the Lord. Slow to anger and abounding in kindness; He will not chide, nor does He keep his wrath forever, nor accuse us of our sins nor deal with us harshly. For as the heavens are high above the Earth, so far surpassing is His kindness toward those who fear Him … . As far as the east and the west, so far has He put His ­transgressions from us as a father has compassion on his children.”

The Lord knows that we will be discouraged if He does not forgive us our transgressions, show us His love, and welcome us into His home. Once we admit our sins and tell Him of our regrets, the Lord is kind and merciful, and His love inspires us to do good, to keep on trying no matter how many times we fall. We fall, we rise, we fall, we rise, we never stop trying.

I know that in my own life, the Lord knows of my sins, my foolishness. Sometimes even as I sin, almost immediately afterwards, He calls me and brings me by His side. He seems to put aside my wrong; He will not let me go.

I remember the times past when I had done wrong. I turned to Him, but though I had done wrong, He was there. He did not separate Himself from me, but He forgave me and directed me to continue representing Him. He commanded me to do good works.

Truly, I love Him: “Grant me, oh Lord, in Your kindness, all that I need to do your will. Grant me Your favour.”

The accuser, however, sees good works, and he calls them a waste of time. For instance, many people say to the brothers and myself, “You are wasting your time. You are wasting resources – the poor people, children and adults so distorted, are useless. They cannot produce anything. Yet, here you are, wasting money, goods, talents, and time for non-productive people. You brothers and priests are wasting your lives!” The accuser, the devil, is telling lies! Also, at times, when we sin, we turn to God or confess, and the Lord forgives us. But Satan, the accuser, wants us to keep feeling guilty and unworthy. But God is forgiving, and when we are forgiving, we are like unto God.

Satan is really “the accuser of the brethren”. He hates humanity, he hates God. He wants us to feel down, full of fear, anxiety, and guilt. We must look at Revelation 12:10, Job. 1:6, Zech 3:1. We see Satan constantly bringing charges, wanting us to feel terrible. On the other hand, forgiveness liberates us and saves us from our sins and paralysis.

Yes! We must confess our sins to God and to others but then go back to our loving and merciful God and do many good deeds.

God bless you!