September 13

Reflection

 

“Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22

The concept of forgiveness is often misused to mean that we would let bad things be done to us or to expect others to forgive us when we continue to harm them. So it is important to remember that forgiveness is not pardoning, condoning, excusing, forgetting, denying, or even reconciling. It does not condone violence, abuse, or injustice. It does not release others from the consequences of their behavior. Forgiveness is essentially a unilateral, private choice, a necessary first step in freeing oneself from carrying the heavy burden of resentment over past hurts. It sets the stage for such future possibilities as reconciliation and restoring broken relationships. Forgiveness is a force, an energy that comes from the heart. Forgiveness is more a process than a onetime decision. The process of forgiveness helps us to open ourselves to transformation from needing to be perfect or to make our circumstances perfect to knowing our inner goodness that comes from the divine presence in our hearts.
Rev. Dr. Roula Alkhouri

Prayer

May I understand the meaning of forgiveness.

Action

Consider what you carry within you that needs forgiveness. How can you free yourself from this? Take one practical step.


Suggested Reading

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness is the essence of the love which can understand mistakes and mend them.
Pope Francis

Forgiveness is an attitude of forgiving reality for being what it is, forgiving an imperfect world…. It’s in your struggle with the wound that you move from unconsciousness to consciousness.
Richard Rohr

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.
Corrie Ten Boom

You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’
Maya Angelou

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

Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.
Roberto Assagioli

We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.
Sir. Francis Bacon

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.
Marianne Williamson

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