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

Catechetical Methodology and its Application to the Lives of Human Beings
By Dr. Gerard O'Shea
This article explores chapters 7-8 of the Directory for Catechesis. Introduction and Context It is now twenty-three years since I eagerly read the last General Directory for Catechesis and made efforts to implement its teachings within the catechetical programs in some of the Catholic schools in Australia. Much has changed in our world since 1997... Read more
Inspired Through Art: The Nativity with the Infant St. John by Piero di Cosimo
By Linus Meldrum
To project the artwork onto a smartboard click here. Piero di Cosimo is one of the most interesting artists of the Renaissance. His biographer was Giorgio Vasari, the contemporary of Michelangelo who is considered to be the first art historian. Vasari collected stories about the most famous and popular artists from the Renaissance, and his book,... Read more
Encountering God in Catechesis
By Catechists' Personal Testimonies
Movement of the Holy Spirit Have you ever had the experience of walking into your classroom and, after careful observance, prayerfully deciding to pivot away from your planned lesson? This happened to me a few years ago. I had prepared diligently for a lesson on the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I was ready to use my short time with the students to... 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