Tragic events, accidents, injustices can impact and shape a person for the rest of their life. The same events can become a stimulus to dig deeper to find a means of strength to respond creatively and courageously.
John McAreavy speaking publicly at a two day event described the terrible sense of loss he felt after his wife was murdered while they were on honeymoon in Mauritius. He admitted that all his dreams were destroyed, that in the months that followed he often felt he had no hope left— and that for the first time in his life he didn’t know what to do.
He spoke thoughtfully saying, “When something like that happens we can either react with bitterness or we can seek to transform that suffering into a creative force.” He described how he’d come to the point of simply giving his life over to God and asking him to guide him.
John shared how with God’s help he had found the grace to forgive and to let go the injustices that had been visited upon him — and to start moving forward.
“I don’t want to live life as a victim of tragic circumstances”. He wanted to move beyond that, he knows he has a lot to give. John shared how the love of his fiancee Tara had played an important part in helping him look forward.
John’s story is one that we can all draw encouragement from. We all face circumstances at times that require us to practice forgiveness. We can react with bitterness or we can seek with God’s help to transform that suffering into a creative force.
St Peter points us toward Jesus writing, “He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” 1 Peter 2:20