I was researching some texts for a prayer service, and I found this wise and thoughtful excerpt from a letter of Saint Francis Paola in LTP’s Reconciliation Sourcebook:
Put aside your hatred and animosity.
Take pains to refrain from sharp words.
If they escape your lips,
do not be ashamed to let your lips produce the remedy,
since they have caused the wounds.
Pardon one another so that later on
you will not remember the injury.
The recollection of an injury is itself wrong.
It adds to our anger,
nurtures our sin and hates what is good.
It is a rusty arrow
and poison for the soul.
It puts all virtue to flight.
It is like a worm in the mind:
it confuses our speech
and tears to shreds our petitions to God.
It is foreign to charity:
it remains planted in the soul like a nail.
It is wickedness that never sleeps,
sin that never fails.
It is indeed daily death.
I had never heard of Francis Paola before last night, but he sure had something to say to me.