daily reflection: “made a list . . .”

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, . . .

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 77

When I approached the Eighth Step, I wondered how I could list all the things that I have done to other people since there were so many people, and some of them weren’t alive anymore. Some of the hurts I inflicted weren’t bad, but they really bothered me. The main thing to see in this Step was to become willing to do whatever I had to do to make these amends to the best of my ability at that particular time. Where there is a will, there’s a way, so if I want to feel better, I need to unload the guilt feelings I have. A peaceful mind has no room for feelings of guilt. With the help of my Higher Power, if I am honest with myself, I can cleanse my mind of these feelings.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

henri nouwen: being unconditional witnesses

Good news becomes bad news when it is announced without peace and joy. Anyone who proclaims the forgiving and healing love of Jesus with a bitter heart is a false witness. Jesus is the savior of the world. We are not. We are called to witness, always with our lives and sometimes with our words, to the great things God has done for us. But this witness must come from a heart that is willing to give without getting anything in return.

The more we trust in God’s unconditional love for us, the more able we will be to proclaim the love of Jesus without any inner or outer conditions.