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Only Light can Drive out Darkness
50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” With these words the great American leader proposed love and forgiveness as the way to defeat hatred and violence. It was not easy for him though and finally with his sacrifice, Martin Luther King, Jr. became a luminous beacon for American society.
Many people bear the ominous burden of hatred and lack of forgiveness. They remain prisoners of the violence they suffered; they continue to be victims of the wounds they received long ago.
Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Only forgiveness can heal hearts. Nonetheless, forgiveness is not easy. It demands time and effort, patience and commitment. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” That light is faith.
“Faith offers the possibility of forgiveness, which so often demands time and effort, patience and commitment. Forgiveness is possible once we discover that goodness is always prior to and more powerful than evil, and that the word with which God affirms our life is deeper than our every denial” (LF 55).
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