The Grace of Forgiveness

Authored by Dom Benedict Heron in Issue #30.1 of The Sower

I do not always find forgiving easy. Indeed, I sometimes find it a real struggle. Yet I know that if I am to follow the teaching and example of Jesus, I must forgive everything, always, and unconditionally. This is, of course, only possible through the grace of God.

Let us look at the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament. Jesus taught us to pray: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’ (Matthew 6:12). We are to forgive ‘seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22), which means we are to forgive indefinitely. And Jesus gave us the perfect example by forgiving those who put him to death: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:43).

There is also a beautiful passage in St. Paul: ‘As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.’(Colossians 3:12-13).

We are the first victims of our unforgiveness. When we do not forgive, or in so far as we do not forgive fully, we do not experience the peace and joy which Jesus wishes to give us. Moreover, unforgiveness, which is a spiritual sickness, can also affect our physical health. Statistics show us that during the eighteen months after the departure or death of a spouse, when there can be much unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment and anger, people are considerably more likely to get cancer than at other times.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

El acompañamiento en la verdad y en la caridad: el camino a la libertad auténtica
By Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP
Talladas en piedra arriba del portal de entrada al patio de la institución educativa fundacional de nuestra Congregación se encuentran las palabras (en latín por un lado y en inglés por el otro): dar a conocer la verdad es la caridad más grande. Durante los seis años en que impartía clases en aquella escuela, no ignoraba que esta fuera una... Read more
Inspired Through Art: Anastasis by Fr. Tomas Labanic, 2006
By Jennifer Healy
Free “We are a people of the Resurrection.” These words of St. Augustine, echoed in more recent times by St. John Paul II, call us to live in the hope and joy of Christ’s victory over death. Even in times of suffering, spiritual aridity, or simply the humdrum of everyday life, we have the glorious light of truth to live by: Jesus has redeemed us... Read more
From the Shepherds: Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ with Enthusiasm
By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz
Free Psalm 42:1, “Like a deer thirsting for running water,” illustrates the soul touched by the grace of God. The enthusiastic catechist needs to be confident that God is already at work in the student. However, amid the increasing isolation of youth in the secular culture, it is easy to be less than confident. The growing number of “nones” (those who... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now