May 23

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. And there is the forgiveness of God that assures us of our worth and strengthens us. 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against 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; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:24
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

 Forgiveness is the final form of love.
Reinhold Niebuhr

 Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.
Paul Boese

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
Dalai Lama

 You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.
Lewis B. Smedes

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
Maya Angelou

 

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