“To err is human; to forgive divine.” –Alexander Pope
The hardest thing for people to do is to forgive. Everyone has a difficult time forgiving others. Sure, some things are easier than others, but we are called to reach out and forgive other for ALL things.
Almost two years ago on Divine Mercy Sunday, I heard a remarkable homily. It’s one of the few that have stuck with me. The key thing that really resonated with me was when Fr. Iweh said true forgiveness is when we are able to forgive as if the (whatever “it” is) never happened. For us humans forgiving is hard enough, but can we truly forgive someone without holding grudges?
Before I go any further let me say this. I’m not saying that if someone were to hurt another that we should put ourselves or others in a situation where they too could possibly be hurt. For example – if someone is abusing someone else verbally, physically, and/or sexually we are not obligated to keep those people n out lives. BUT we are obligated to forgive and not hold any grudges against them.
This is no easy task, nor is it something that will be possible instantly. In some cases it might be years before we are able to give true forgiveness.
The key thing I think that many people forget is that when we forgive someone it does more for us than the person we are forgiving. Once we decide to let go of our hurt feelings and stop holding that drudge can we truly begin the healing process.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t go out of my way to hurt others. Yet, I know that I have. I hope that everyone I have inadvertently hurt has been able to forgive me and aren’t bearing any grudges or ill feelings towards me. Not because I want them to have nothing but rosy thoughts about me but because I know that holding that grudge and hurt feelings keeps the wounds open, festering, and at times ay even feel as if someone is pouring salt on the wounds. Holding onto the pain and hurt eats at us and can steal the joy from our lives.
Perhaps you have experienced a hurt that has cut so deep that you don’t know how you could ever forgive the offender. My suggestion to you would be to take it to prayer. Talk to God, tell Him what is going on, that you are tired of hurting but you don’t think you are capable of forgiving the wrong doer. Then ask Him to give you the grace needed to be able to forgive them.