By Janna Pasig, Grade 6
St. Adalbert Catholic Academy
Forgiveness is a virtue that many people practice in their everyday life. Others may struggle to forgive because they simply may not know how to forgive. Forgiveness is simply stopping the feeling of anger toward someone for their wrongful doing. Although forgiveness can be difficult for some to do, it’s important that we forgive as followers of Jesus Christ. It’s important to show other people how to serve God by forgiving.
Our world can be dark sometimes but we always have a light to guide us. We have an ability that can help us shine in the dark, that ability is forgiveness. The world is dark because we lack forgiveness and some people are drowning in guilt because they haven’t been forgiven or don’t know how to forgive. A story that lights up the world is Corrie Ten Boom’s story of forgiveness. Corrie was a watchmaker who helped the Jews during the Holocaust. She hid them behind a false wall in her bedroom. She was then arrested and was taken to a concentration camp in Ravensbruck. The horrors she had there. Fortunately, she did escape.
In a church in Munich, she saw a man. He was in a gray overcoat, and had a brown felt hat held in between his hands. Then she saw a blue uniform and a visored cap with a skull and crossbones. Realizing that the man was a soldier at the concentration camp where Corrie was sent. Corrie had just finished her speech at the church, and the soldier approached her. As their conversation drifted, the soldier didn’t recognize her but she did. He told her that he had become a Christian now and wanted to serve God. He told her that he asked forgiveness for all the horrible things he did in the concentration camps.
It must be very hard for Corrie to forgive such a man who did horrible things to her. She saw his change though. She realized that the soldier was a good man. A man who deserves a chance. So she prayed quietly and asked God for help. Than something unexpected but is really needed to light up the world. She hugged him saying that she forgave him with all her heart. A former soldier and a former prisoner hugging, reuniting and forgetting about the past. Corrie’s story describes that sometimes it is very hard to forgive especially if what that person has done to you is very heavy and very bad.
It’s very important that we forgive because we are the disciples of Jesus Christ. We set people free from their chains of guilt. Forgiveness lights our way in the dark because it shows a chance for change. Forgiveness isn’t something that you see everyday, but the more we model forgiveness, the more others will become accustomed with forgiving.
Father Mychal Judge was a Catholic priest who risked his own life to save others. He is currently being considered for canonization to sainthood by the Vatican. He went above and beyond, demonstrating characteristics of a faith-filled leader.
When he was a child he wanted to become a firefighter and a priest. Fr. Judge wanted to help people and he wanted to teach them about God and His love. He became a firefighter chaplain for the New York City Fire Department, known as the FDNY. Chaplin is a member of the clergy who is assigned to a specific institution. In his case, he served the firefighters of New York City by providing spiritual guidance about God and His works.
On September 11, 2001, a tragedy devastated our neighborhood, our city, and our country. Although I was not born yet, my parents have described this day to me. Two commercial or large, airplanes were taken over by terrorists (people who aim to put fear in others) and flown into the Twin Tower buildings known as The World Trade Center. Both the North Tower and the South Tower, (named based on where they were geographically built), were struck and immediately erupted into an inferno from the jet fuel. Many emergency workers, including police officers, firefighters, and medical workers responded to the call that day. When Fr. Judge arrived, the smoke and fire were so bad, it was difficult to see what was going on. When he arrived at lower Manhattan, he did his best to help others. Fr. Judge began to pray. He prayed for all the people in the buildings and their families, for all emergency workers, and for peace during this horrible time. Fr. Judge began blessing people who were hurt on the floor before the buildings collapsed.
That day, Fr. Judge was taken back home to heaven to be with God, the special figure he spent his life teaching about. He died giving his life to helping others. Fr. Judge was both a leader of the religious faith and a leader of the FDNY, who ultimately gave his own life doing the two things he always wanted to do — helping others and teaching them about God and His love. He was a man who wanted to help, not hurt, and that was shown by the number of people that were at his funeral to pay their respects.