Alessia’s early life can be characterized by a single expression- abuse. She was born to a single mother, a drug addict. After Alessia’s birth, she often let her sleeping home alone, working to get enough money for drugs. This changed when she found a new boyfriend, a wealthy guy. He wasn’t very fond of Alessia though, and didn’t treat her with love.
Years passed, Alessia’s mother won her fight with addiction, and found a new job where she didn’t have to work night shifts. Alessia started visiting school. Having heard nothing but bad words all her childhood and having experienced very little love or affection, she was rather shy and reserved. She never managed to start friendships with her classmates, and spent most of her time alone.
When she was fifteen, she grew up to a skinny but beautiful girl. It was than that Mark (eighteen) showed his interest. She invited her out, bought flowers, was nice to her. Since Alessia never really felt love in her life before, she felt very good with Mark, and trust him unconditionally. On their third date, Mark invited her home. His parents were still in work. He started to kiss her and undress her. Alessia didn’t know what to do. She restrained, but Mark continued. He abused her that evening in the house, and never called her afterwards. Following the terrible experience, Alessia felt heartbroken, and decided to never start a relationship with another man again.
First visit to church–a breaking moment
Her mother had a new boyfriend, and they were enjoying each other in the house. Alessia couldn’t stay it anymore and ran outside, to the streets. She run and run, until she had sweat all over her body. It was ten degrees outside, and she started feeling terribly cold. She wanted to go inside, but didn’t feel like returning home.
Then she heard a song coming from a nearby building. It was a church. The song felt familiar, and the place warm. She decided to walk in, and took a seat in one of the rear rows. After the sermon, priest began to preach.
Preaching of forgiveness
The priest was talking of forgiveness. He said the following word:
It’s easy to pray for forgiveness, and receive one from our Lord. But it’s much more difficult to forgive our neighbors, the injustice they did to us. Many people walk down the streets filled with bitterness and negative thoughts. You can see it in the way they look around themselves. These people typically struggle to start new relationships and to feel secure in their lives. But the problem isn’t around them–it’s within. Their hate and prejudice form a special prison they carry inside their souls.
If you want to life fully and in liberty, if you want to receive the gifts our heavenly father had prepared for you, you must learn to forgive. Forgive your mother and father, forgive your brother, forgive the person on the street. Forgive everyone who did something bad to you, and forgive people who just intended doing injustice.
Forgive everyone, but forgive also yourself–for all your mistakes and imperfections. Forgiving is the most liberating feeling you can experience. God forgave you already, and he will do so many times. Now it is time for you to forgive….
Alessia was touched by the sermon. She realized that the priest has narrated HER story, nothing but what she actually experienced. She couldn’t hold her tears back anymore, and started to cry. She stayed in a church long after the mass was over, and reflected on her life. She decided to forgive.
Starting a new life
Alessia didn’t say anything to her mother, Mark, or her schoolmates who have hurt her so many times. But she forgave them, in the depth of her heart. And she threw away all the prejudice, and started to look people in the eyes.
Each evening, before going to bed, she recited a personal prayer. Praying, she asked God for forgiveness, and cited all people she had already forgiven for all bad things they had done to her. She also started visiting church more often, and soon enough meet an interesting young man there, a Christian.
They started going out together, and soon enough formed a couple. Today Alessia lives with her husband, and she gave birth to a child. She is happy, and give graces to God. Even though many things changed in her life, she keeps the old habit–her evening prayer of forgiveness. She doesn’t want to be a prisoner anymore….