Fr. Joseph M. Esper: The Saints Can Teach Us How to Forgive

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By Fr. Joseph M. Esper, Catholic Exchange, July 6, 2020

Fr. Joseph Esper studied at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1982. He has lectured at Marian conferences, spoken on Catholic radio, and written more than a dozen articles ….

Fr. Joseph M. EsperIt goes against our sinful human nature to renounce vengeance and to leave our malefactors unpunished, but this is what is expected of us. “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19).  This very difficult teaching was obeyed by the saints — although in some cases, not without much struggle — and we must also heed it.

The first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, gives us a powerful example of Christian forgiveness. The Acts of the Apostles tells how he was stoned to death for his fearless proclamation of the Gospel. His last words were “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60) …