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One of my sisters had wanted nothing to do with either me, or our other sister since 1997. It’s obviously complicated. For many years I prayed for her, and that we could heal the pain on both sides. Starting in November 2021 my desire for reconciliation was answered. She was admitted to hospital following a heart attack, and I reached out. .I  idn’t know if my offer of support would be welcome, and fortunately it was. I attribute this partly due to my prayers over the years that we be reconciled before either of us leave this earth.  Her medical treatment was successful and we are thankful she is doing well.

There is a second story of reconciliation which happened a few weeks shortly after lent started this year. A parishioner had insulted me four years ago, and I wasn’t sure how to respond. It felt weird and unchristian to see him at mass and not work it through, and yet I was afraid of his anger if I approached. But in prayer the alienation kept coming up, and I wanted to heal the rift, and make peace. In prayer I heard the Lord ask me to take a risk and  reach out. So after mass I followed him out and greeted him. He immediately acknowledged me saying: “a few years ago I didn’t treat you very well, do you remember, I apologize.” Being surprised at the alacrity of his response, I hugged him right there in the narthex.

Thinking about these two incidents I am grateful that prayers were answered. As far as I know there isn’t anyone else that I am alienated from. I hope nobody is still angry at me, and pray that if I need to make amends, I will gladly do so. What these two examples have taught me, is how responding to grace can make us free. Don’t be afraid to bother God with prayers of petition..