February 5

Reflection

There are three kinds of forgiveness, all interrelated. There is self-forgiveness, which enables us to release our guilt and perfectionism. There is the forgiveness we extend to others and receive from them, intimates and enemies alike. And there is the forgiveness of God that assures us of our worth and strengthens us for this practice. All the spiritual traditions raise up the value of forgiveness. Forgiveness is freeing. It means that we can move out of our previous position and move on with our lives. Best of all, it enables us to be reconciled with our neighbors and with God so that once again we feel part of the greater community of the spiritual life.
Adapted from Spirituality and Practice

 

Prayer

Forgive us our offenses as we forgive those who offend us.

Action

Look truthfully at one hurt you have not been able to forgive. Identify any associated feelings you might still have. Imagine what it would be like to live without feeling this offense. Then let it go.

Suggested Reading

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21

Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother or sister; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:24

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that God may forgive you your sin.
Mark 11:25

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.
Unknown

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.
Dag Hammarskjold

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
Unknown

There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.
Sydney Harris

 

 

 

 

 

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