Good Morning! Happy Labor Day!
On the evening of August 8th at St. Linus Church, I was in the presence of a living saint! Her name is Immaculée Iligabeza and she is the author of Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocoust. She was at St. Linus to talk about the events described in this book. (Which I have since read and highly recommend!)
If you are unfamiliar with the story, she along with seven other Tutsi women, were crammed into a 3' x 4' bathroom for three months while the Rwandan genocide was taking place. At times Hutu "killers" were just inches away, just on the other side of the wall, calling out her name as they hunted for her. It was in that bathroom where she eventually came to forgive these killers. Of course it took time and a lot of prayer, but she talked about how the first night where she truly forgave the killers in her heart was the first night she was able to sleep in peace!
I could go on and on about all the stories she shared that night at St. Linus. But it was her opening remarks that have really stayed with me and what I want to share with you all. She talked about how we need to hold onto our faith; it is precious and means everything to us. She encouraged going to mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. She encouraged going to confession and cleaning the heart. She encouraged praying the rosary. She encouraged reading the Bible and doing what God says. Just do what he says. He is God. He knows best. If everyone loved their neighbor as themselves then there wouldn't be genocides and holocausts. When God says to forgive - we should really forgive because it sets us free. His plan is always better. Just do what he says. Of course it isn't always easy, but just like Immaculée says, if she can forgive the Hutus that killed a million Tutsis in 100 days, if she can forgive the killer that killed her Mom, Dad, and two brothers, then we can forgive as well. Turn to the Lord and ask for his help. His ways are not our ways...but his ways are always better!
Peace and Joy,