FORGIVENESS: Four Steps To Healing, or The Look of Fear

October 16, 2012

I think that the hardest part of forgiveness is identifying the wound.  For me, not understanding that I have felt wounded has a lot to do with shame: most of the time, the things that wound me, frankly, embarrass me.  I was overwhelmed with sorrow when my father gave me a hat.  (For those who might be confused by this, I wrote about it in a post entitled, SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: Hunting the Jabberwock.) I think that because I tend to just blink at my wounds, feeling somewhat unable to even understand them much less approach them with a plan to resolve them through forgiveness and reconciliation, most, if not all, of them just go unresolved for want of recognition. It’s one thing to say, Father, I forgive you for driving over my [...]

GOD’S ALPHABET: F is for Forgiveness, by Frederick Buechner

October 16, 2012

From Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC To forgive somebody is to say one way or another, “You have done something unspeakable, and by all rights I should call it quits between us.  Both my pride and my principles demand no less.   However, although I make no guarantees that I will be able to forget what you’ve done, and though we may both carry the scars for life, I refuse to let it stand between us.  I still want you for my friend.” To accept forgiveness means to admit that you’ve done something unspeakable that needs to be forgiven, and thus both parties must swallow the same thing: their pride. This seems to explain what Jesus means when he says to God, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against [...]

PRAYER: Prayers For Reconciliation Within The Home, by Edward Hays

June 25, 2012

A Prayer in a Time of Anger and Separation Lord, you who expressed your divine anger in fire, brimstone, and lightning, look down with understanding upon my anger.  I am in pain — a wound in my heart caused by another is the source of this suffering.  That heart of mine, Lord of Hearts, is filled with anger so that I am unable to be loving and caring.  I feel a need to return injury for injury, pain for pain, and so cannot truly desire to forgive the other. Lord, you and I both know that such an attitude is wrong, yet it is very real and its pain overflows into the rest of my life.  Before I can come to the point of wanting to forgive — and to be forgiven if that is necessary — I must find an antidote for the poison of this [...]

FORGIVENESS: When It Is Better To Receive Than To Give

May 10, 2012

There are many reaches of forgiveness.  There’s forgiving others.  Asking others to forgive you.  Asking God to forgive you.  Asking God to forgive others.  Supporting others in forgiving each other.  Forgiving ourselves. On the surface, I think that we generally believe that we have a grasp on forgiveness.  What’s the big deal, after all?  Jesus teaches us to forgive seventy-times-seven, so that just means that we need to keep at it until we can stand to be in the room with the other person and have a conversation with him. Right? I don’t think so. I think that we are masters of forcing our outward expressions to conform with what it looks like to forgive, while finding niches deep inside us where our pain can [...]

FORGIVENESS: Opening The Wound

January 25, 2012

If the unity of Christians in one body makes the church a sign of God in the world, and if men tend unfortunately to conflict and division by reason of their weakness, selfishness, and sin, then the will to reconciliation and pardon is necessary if the church is to make God visible in the world. Nor can this pardon, this communion in forgiveness, remain interior and invisible.  It must be clearly manifest.  So the mystery of the church demands that Christians love one another in a visible and concrete way. Christ will not be visible to the world in his church except in proportion as Christians seek peace and unity with one another and with all men.  But since conflict is inevitable, unity cannot be maintained except in great difficulty, [...]

PRAYER: Forgive Me, Father, by C. Peter Wagner

January 25, 2012

Father, why is the thing I need the most, the thing I do the least?  Why am I so busy I do not have time?  You must have many frustrated days when your eyes roam to and fro throughout the Earth in search of someone whose heart is completely yours.  You must weep often when you seek for a man or woman to stand in the gap to fill the breech and find no one.  Your heart must ache at times for me, one of your people, to rise up and be what you have called me to be. I humble myself before your throne and ask you to forgive me for my lack of prayer.  And forgive me as a leader, Lord, who has not told your people the truth.  Forgive us as a church — the body of Christ — for allowing evil to rule in this land when you have more than more [...]

PRAYER: A Novena To Mary For Forgiveness

December 1, 2011

Author unknown A novena is a nine-day period of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions.  (Novena is derived from the Latin, “novem,” meaning nine.)  As the definition suggests, the novena has always had more of a sense of urgency and neediness. The following is the novena I use for forgiving someone.  I use it every time I pray.  It is awkwardly worded, but I have kept it as it is, and it has become a close friend. A Novena to Mary to Forgive Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I ask for the willingness to forgive and the grace to forgive immediately all who have sinned against me. On Calvary, you gave Mary the grace [...]