Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 32): Forgiveness

First, a link to my letter to the editor of the Catholic Courier on how the sacrament of Reconciliation is (mis)handled in our diocese: Restore established order. (Their title, not mine.)

I am so grateful for the sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a way to learn more about my relationship with God, a mirror to help me see my own failings more clearly. It is a call to conversion, a push in the right direction. It is an avenue of grace.

I generally don't have difficulty forgiving people. I'm like Sid from Ice Age: "You know me, I'm too lazy to hold a grudge." Harboring anger and resentment seems like a waste of time.

I have explained to my Sunday school class that Jesus calls us to forgive as many times as we are wronged, but doesn't say we need to forgive and forget. There are times when it is healthy to remember, so as to avoid a situation that can hurt you again. (Being bullied, for example.)

When should we forgive and forget, then? An isolated incident within a healthy relationship (not just romantic - any relationship) can and should be forgotten. Sure, the other person was inconsiderate and hurt you, but if it's not a pattern, it's good to forget. Hurt caused unintentionally, or by someone you're unlikely to see again, should be forgotten. It's a case-by-case decision, a reason for discernment.

I pray that you are able during this Lenten season to experience the healing forgiveness God offers us. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Let God back into your heart. He already knows what's there and loves you anyway.

On a completely different topic, please pray for a dear friend of mine whose child was called from her womb to Heaven. Thank you.

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