On Forgiveness

Today’s letter/ advice on forgiveness:

As a follower of Christ you are invited to forgive just as the Lord forgives you your offenses every time. Forgetting is another thing. It is a human factor that one cannot always control. The offense can be forgiven usually it remains to be part of one’s memory, both for the one offended and the offender. Forgetting here does not mean the erasure of the memory of the offense or the offender. Rather, it means that you have decided not to let it affect you anymore, for you know, at least in your mind if not also the heart, that you are reconciled with the issue.

It is however for you to decide what to do with what you cannot forget: will it be a nagging feeling, or will it serve as a lesson for you in your future dealings with that person or with other people you recognize a similar pattern leading to a similar offense? Nothing will ever be the same again with the offender. That person will have to earn your trust all over again, it is not given anymore as it was before. And that is normal. Offenders must work to earn back you trust if it means that much to him/her, otherwise, don’t bother yourself with it. You are in no obligation to forget and reinstate the person in your trust. The moral obligation is with the offender.

Pater, SJ

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