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A Forgiving Heart

Story ID:2174
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
Year:2007
Person:various
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Once a teacher - always a teacher. At least so I've heard said before many
times, and even though I left the teaching profession, I guess there still
is some truth in the saying because I never tire of learning or sharing
what I have learned with others. Does everyone appreciate my efforts?
Probably not, but for those who might, I keep on sharing.

Learning something new or even something
old in a new way will always have an appeal and hold on me.
So, here goes today's gleanings which I found personally refreshing. One of those
gleanings now helps me to have a better understanding of God's mercy. Another has me
unbelieving and incredulous as to how we sometimes react to tragedy.

The first feature in the Catholic Universe bulletin to "grab" me was one
about Steve Skrovan who had been one of the writers for Everybody Loves
Raymond. I was surprised to learn that he is from the Cleveland area
originally. And Patricia Heaton is also a native of our parts. Her family
is one of achievers. Her dad had been a sports writer and her brother writes
or wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Then as I often do, I wanted to read more about Steve Skrovan and looked
him up on a search wagon. There I found him and something else as well.
There was a link where he or someone else mentioned the story of Darryl Hunt -
a black man convicted of a rape -murder in N. Carolina. He was recently
freed after almost 20 years because his DNA didn't match.

When I read anything about DNA, I alway think of Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
whose pioneering work led to this technology. Sadly, she did not receive Nobel
recognition for it but the men she shared her learning with did. (I wrote her
brief story which I had originally seen on the History Channel as well as that
of Lise Meitner in the Echo as "Nobel Prizes denied to Rosalind and Lise"
Lise Meitner was no small contributer either to the development of the splitting
of the atom, but she too was overlooked by the Nobel committee.)

While the freeing of Darryl Hunt was cause of jubilation and justice, I read with
horrid astonishment that the agrieved and bitter mother asked the judge not
to release Darryl! She couldn't shake the hate she felt for him EVEN THOUGH
HE WAS FOUND INNOCENT. As I always say - the longer I live, the less I
understand my fellow man (woman). Instead of being grateful they found the
real killer, she still hated Darryl Hunt. You can find his story on an internet
search wagon if interested.

And now to Father Dietzen and his response to a writer who didn't agree with his
earlier answer to "Does God forgive suicide bombers?" He could not understand
how God could forgive such people. I'm sure most of us hope that cruel and mur-
derous people will get their just "due" in the hearafter if not while on earth, but
Father's answer I believe should help the person who had problems with God
forgiving suicide bombers. I for one think that Father's reply is classic and true.

He replied....."we must be hesitant before we claim absolute certainty about what
is or is not going on in the depths of anyone's heart in that person's personal
relationship with God. We're in territory way beyond our reach when we limit
what God can or cannot do through saving love.
Perhaps a more urgent reminder to be humble and cautious about such condem-
nations is that massive horrendous evils have been committed in God's name by
people of many other religions, including our own. (Thanx Father for reminding
me).
Some of the more cruel incidents that led to the destruction of innocent lives were
ordered and carried out by people, from common folk to popes, who sincerely and
absolutely believed they were doing God's will. Two examples are the carnage per-
petrated in the course of the 8 or more Crusades, accompanied by bloodbaths mass-
acring Jews, "heathens" and other Christians; and merciless executions of thousands
of real or suspected unbelievers, especially during the Spanish Inquisition. We're
still apologizing for that, and coping with the consequences.
It is not all unseemly or unfaithful of us to ask God's mercy on them all, and on us."

I liked Father's response. I hope it will help me to be less judgemental re people
who I don't agree with. Recently, I was fortunate enough to watch the Spanish
Inquisition on the History Channel. I was horrified but glad to learn what happened
at this time in history. So, now before I throw a rock or a stone at any other people,
I will try to remember that my own personal faith history is blemished too.

Then I wondered how my friend Judy who committed suicide was given a Christian
burial. Right there I was being judgmental even though the church no longer refuses
these services to suicides because as Father said we do not know what is in the
depth of that person's heart and her relationship with God at the time of her death.

Judy had suffered from Aids for quite awhile, and I thought she was handling it well.
Sometimes it seemed to be touch and go, but she always rallied, so when she decided
to take her own life with a gun, I can't imagine what precipitated her making that final
horrible decision.

Judy had always loved cats and a few years back I asked her if she wanted a beautiful
little red long-haired kitten someone turned in to me. She had quickly answered with
a delighted "yes" and cooed as I placed him into her open hands. That is the picture
I will always have of her and it is a happy one. Jerry will miss you, Judy - I am sure.

And may God grant you eternal rest.