“The only way to break through lifelong patterns of unforgiveness is to take time—daily for a while—and reflect on all God has forgiven you.”
“Minute Meditations” AmericanCatholic.org
Forgiveness has got to be the MOST difficult thing to achieve! At least for me…
I want God to forgive me…I hear over and over how his Mercy is Infinite…and I know that via the Sacrament of Reconciliation I am forgiven, providing I complete my Penance of course 🙂
Now if God is so quick to forgive, why are we, or I, so hesitant?
I can chalk it up to Pride. When someone hurts you, offends you, lies to you, betrays your trust, stabs you in the back – any number of things that we are Great at! – your ego is bruised or perhaps it feels that it is even destroyed. Point being, it is the EGO. Thus, Pride. But could it be something else?
Perhaps it is a defence mechanism. We were hurt once, and who wants to be hurt again? Maybe this is why we find it so hard to forgive! We have, I have rather, this assumption – and yes, I know, never assume, when you assume you make an a** of u and me – that if I forgive, then the person who hurt me is now off the hook! I was hurt, deeply. I suffered and I guess I want them to suffer too! And if I forgive so quickly and easily, then where is their punishment?
I have been told that part of their punishment is that they have to live with the burden of what they have done. What I say is HA!! What burden? Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that ALL people who offend are not remorseful. I am quite sure that plenty are, but what about those that are NOT? What about them?
I know, I know…”‘Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). I know this.
Now, if we go back to the quote, God forgives us…how do we feel after we are forgiven, after the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
I feel as if a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel light as air! And yet…when I am in the Confessional…when I know that I have to tell someone…tell them what I have done…I feel…well, I feel shame! When I hear myself speak my sins, my thoughts, my actions…I am shocked that someone who is capable of so much good, is also capable of so much bad! And I do walk out of the Confessional resolved to never do wrong again. I really, honestly, and truly do! But, I sin again and again and again. God has to get frustrated, right? Wrong! He forgives, again and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again! He ALWAYS forgives.
Here’s the clincher…He forgives, and yet we know He is Just. We know that His Mercy is Infinite, that through His Merciful Heart we may receive forgiveness as opposed to what we deserve…But what if…what if when we come before Him, we do get Justice…that would only be fair, right? So, then should this be our solace when others hurt us? I mean, then this should be our solace! And yet…
And yet…I try to forgive, I think I forgive, but then I remember and it hurts! It hurts so much that I want them to know how much they hurt me! Even if it means they hurt too.
So does this mean that I did not forgive? Or does it simply mean that the memory hurts?
I believe I forgave…I want to believe I forgave…
Forgiveness…such an elusive gift…
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