ray of God.
One beautiful spring Sunday morning in rural Sacramento, California, I was on my way to the Mormon Church with my grandmother and brother. I went to find my grandpa to ask him why he wasn't going with us. My grandpa was a pretty important person to me, as we were bonded pretty tight. Not so much because he would talk to me when most adults would not, or because he would share his peanuts while gazing up at the stars, but because we both stood in that room with my mother, with that soft yellow light. I remember his arm around me then very vividly...he looked down at me and told me that it was okay to cry... he was crying. My father did not say much then, what could he say? It was a pretty tough place for him to be. But he was more than just welcome.
One day not too long after my mother's death, I found my grandpa in his garden, and I asked him why he did not go to church with grandma and us. He said, "I am just not good enough, Richy!" I told him that if he was not good enough, then neither was I, so I stopped going. My church became his garden, and my father's love in heaven came down to me through him.
One day at sixteen, my grandfather had a stroke. One week later, he asked me if I could help him to his garden. He reached over and picked one weed, then we both staggered back to the house. The next day, he was gone along with his garden.
32 years later, with so many struggles in between, my new Catholic faith brought me back to that room where my mother lay. We won't find a place, home, or church here on earth that will protect us from sin. This room through the years has clearly shown me this. Church is not a place to condemn others or ourselves because of our sin, rather a battlefield with the great physician at its very core.
forgiveness is the central theme in the message conveyed through the image of the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The cross represents the ultimate act of forgiveness and love from God towards humanity, as Jesus willingly gave up his life to atone for the sins of the world. It is a reminder of the great divide between darkness and light, death and life, sin, and forgiveness. Through the cross, we are offered the chance to receive forgiveness for our own sins and to extend forgiveness to others who have wronged us. The importance of humility, honesty, and self-reflection in the process of forgiveness. It encourages us to take a hard, honest look at ourselves and the impact our actions have had on others, to acknowledge our mistakes, and to seek forgiveness both from God and from those we have wronged. It also emphasizes the importance of seeing the humanity in others, even those who have hurt us, and recognizing that we are all in need of God's grace and forgiveness.
Overall, the message of forgiveness conveyed through the cross is one of hope, love, and redemption. It invites us to let go of our anger, bitterness, and resentment, and to embrace a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation towards others.
At eight years old, I once stood with my father and his father in a small, dark room with a soft, yellow light shining upon my mother who had just taken her own life. This room remains inside my soul to this day. My father, at twenty-eight, had made mistakes in his life, and the devil's last stroke in her life eight years later, with my father asking for forgiveness, was her failure to forgive him. My heart goes out to all the beautiful people in this world who pick themselves back up when they fail others, face the hurt that they cause, and ask to be forgiven. To those who have been failed by others and learn to forgive them, to my father, mother, family, and friends that I too have let down in this life as well, and to those who can't ask for forgiveness or give it, have a special place also in me, a special room so to speak, where the clarity of this world's icebergs becomes clearer as one gets closer to Christ. But above all, to God, through Jesus who shows us a whole new way to live among each other, for each other, if we so choose to live first and foremost in Him. With peace and victory in Jesus so close to each and every soul, no one should ever give up on life or on one another, no matter how tough this life may get at times. Getting to know the Gospel, getting to know Jesus, opens up a colossal door for those in the most need, if only they would give Him a chance and open this door. Just as the planets rotate around the sun in perfect harmony, we too, as people, can learn forgiveness and reconciliation while rotating around Jesus, the light, the very