So often lately, I wake and live in such pained and hurting days. Anger surrounds us in words and actions; it is hard to believe we are all loved in God’s eyes. Indeed, as the first reading notes, we live in a most rebellious house, with eyes blinded by fear, ears deaf to heartache amidst groans.

My challenge, in my own rebellious house, is to love well and fully as a person of grace and spirit. My spiritual watershed is to love every other person in the face of so much rancor and heartache. Somedays, exercising forgiveness seventy times seven times only takes my soul to lunchtime. On those days, I challenge myself to remember how often God’s unconditional love has opened the door to forgiveness and rebuilt covenant for me.  Repeatedly, in the face of anger and rancor, I stretch to offer love and forgiveness, as God has done for me.          

—Mary Burke-Petersonis a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.