Should you fall even fifty times a day, never on any account should that surprise or worry you. Instead, ever so gently set your heart back in the right direction and practice the opposite virtue, all the time speaking words of love and trust to our Lord after you have committed a thousand faults, as much as if you had committed only one. Once we have humbled ourselves for the faults God allows us to become aware of in ourselves, we must forget them and go forward.
This saint was happily married with four children when her husband was shot dead in a hunting accident. Before he took his last breath he was able to forgive the man saying, “Don’t commit the sin of hating yourself when you have done nothing wrong.” Jane, on the other hand, did not find forgiveness as easily. Her heart was broken and she spent many years taking baby steps toward forgiving the man. She began by trying to greet him graciously on the street, and when she could do that she began inviting him to her home. Eventually, she had forgiven him so completely that she even became the godmother to his child.
Whether it be yourself, another person, or a situation we all come face to face with the difficulty of forgiveness. Jane shows us that it requires baby steps. It requires strength. It requires grace. It doesn’t happen over night and that’s okay. Forgiveness is more like a journey, but it is worthwhile and it can be done.
Life advice from Jane:
Jane believed the secret of happiness was in “losing,” that we should “throw ourselves into God as a little drop of water into the sea, and lose ourselves indeed in the Ocean of the divine goodness.” She advised a man who wrote to her about all the afflictions he suffered “to lose all these things in God. These words produced such an effect in the soul, that he wrote me that he was wholly astonished, and ravished with joy.”