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Practicing humility and forgiveness improves immune system

“In recent years, it have been documented numerous benefits linked to forgiveness, both on the psychological and even the physical level: increased self-esteem, decreased depression and anxiety, lowering the cholesterol level, improving the immune system and decrease of tension”,psychologist Ines Serrano Fernandez says.

In Holy Week, there are certain values and attitudes, such as humility and forgiveness, which we usually relate to this stage of the life of Jesus Christ, but that we can also apply to certain moments of our life. Do you want to know how?

Two evocative moments

Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem, preached, dined with the apostles and established the Eucharist, was betrayed, caught, condemned to death, crucified and on the third day rose from the dead. These are the events, narrated in the Gospels, which are commemorated during Holy Week.

Throughout this story, there are some moments which are especially evocative. One of them is the washing of feet in which, before the last supper, Jesus washes the feet of the twelve apostles in an act of humility. Another scene of a great emotional charge is when, already nailed to the cross, Jesus says: “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing“.

Humility and forgiveness, benefits

“Living life from humility and forgiveness is a possibility which brings benefits every day of the year, not only at a certain time, although it is true that during Holy Week every believer is connected to this type of values or ideas“, says Ines Serrano Fernandez, doctor in psychology, psychotherapist and professor at the CEU San Pablo University in Madrid (Spain).

Experts believe humility is shaped by four components: openness, forgetting oneself, a modest assessment of one’s own person and a certain tendency to focus on others.

“In addition, there is evidence that these components of humility predict forgiveness. That is, living life from humility facilitates forgiveness to take place in situations in which one was harmed and has experienced the desire to free oneself from resentment” Dr. Serrano says.

Forgiving is recommended

The psychologist says that, in general terms, forgiveness is recommended:

“It helps to free oneself from anger, resentment, bitterness and hostility, which are negative emotions which are difficult to manage and that cause wear and tear. In this sense, some people consider that forgiveness is, in the first place, a gift that one makes to oneself“.

The ability or difficulty to forget and leave the rancor is different depending on the person, but also depending on religion. The teacher gives as an example the passage from the Gospel of Matthew in which Peter asks Jesus:

“Lord, how many times will I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven?” To this, Jesus responds: “I do not tell you until seven, but even up to seventy times seven.”

(April 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

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Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions)

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Question 1
Principalmente, el texto habla de... (Mainly, the text talks about...)
forma detallada sobre la vida de Jesús.
cómo el perdón y la humildad son buenos para la salud.
cuándo y por qué se celebra la Semana Santa.
Question 2
Sobre el perdón y la humildad se dice que... (About forgiveness and humility, it is said...)  
los expertos cuestionan que realmente sean buenos para la salud.
apenas están relacionados con la celebración de la Semana Santa.
fueron practicados por Jesús antes de morir.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)  
nadie tiene dificultades para perdonar a una persona.
perdonar mejora el estado físico y emocional de una persona.
aunque se perdone a una persona es poco probable que mejore su salud.
Question 4
Sobre la humildad se dice que... (About humility, it's said that...)  
solo es practicada durante la Semana Santa.
no tiene nada que ver con el hecho de perdonar a una persona.
hace más fácil que una persona pueda perdonar a otra.
Question 5
En el texto  'resentimiento' se refiere a... (In the text, 'resentimiento' refers to...)    
la capacidad de olvidar las ofensas recibidas.
un sentimiento de pena o enfado que causa malestar.
un sentimiento que no está relacionado con el rencor.
Question 6
En el vídeo se dice que... (It's said in the video that...)  
es posible que el papa Francisco viaje a Asís.
el papa Francisco defendió el poder del perdón.
el papa Francisco pidió disculpas a unos fieles.
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