PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Monday, July 31, 2006

 

Forgiveness


I know I should forgive an offender seventy times seventy times. How come I just couldn’t?

I am profoundly hurt when A. accuses me of false things – to my face and within the earshot of others in the office. I am insulted when my co-worker B. bosses around more than the boss herself should. I am offended when C. whom I am having a harmless joke with, suddenly walks out on me when she herself would make really insulting jokes which I should have had walked out on. I am supremely slighted when D. goes around offering everyone but me something nice to eat. I am deeply outraged when E. who owes me a considerable sum, conveniently forgets it when he had even short of made a promissory note. I treat as an affront F.’s entering the apartment I am renting without even bothering to utter a vague trace of hello. I recoil in pain when G. slights me with chronic comments like I am a dinosaur and things like that. I still cannot accept it that H. has run away with my brand-new bag I have yet to use; this, after treating him like a friend. I am incensed when I. answers arrogantly after I ask him a very harmless and even well-meaning question.

On the bigger picture, I am consumed by a flaming anger whenever I read the classified ads and find them all requiring job experience. I gnash my teeth because I don’t have any money left. (That’s it. That’s it.)

I know that life is too short for hurts and pains to get the better of me. Still, I find it extremely hard to forgive, even if I know I have been and still am guilty of the same mistakes in the past and in the present. I know how it is to be forgiven but why am I so reserved when it is my turn to forgive?

Even something like forgiveness must be grace.

**

1. Forgiveness is realizing that the victimizer has been a victim himself/herself.
2. Forgiveness starts with me. "The buck stops here."
3. Forgiveness is breaking the vicious cycle of hate in the world.
4. Forgiveness involves: naming, separating, incorporating.
5. Forgiveness requires: competence, compassion, suffering.
6. Forgiveness is blaming oneself if really at fault. There's an adult takeover, a letting-go process, a choice.
7. Forgiveness is not: forgetting, indifference, naivete (looking for something/-one else to blame)
8. The call to life is not to deny our pain but to suffer with somebody, to become Christ-like.
9. Pain is bearable if we suffer with a meaning, a purpose.
10. We need pain so that we can fathom the meaning of love, to understand how much we are loved.
11. We need pain so that we can understand the pain of others. Only people who are at home with themselves can be at home with others.
12. People who suffered the most and have forgiven are the most compassionate, creative, contemplative. They become our mentors in this journey. (Ex. Einstein, Beethoven, Helen Keller, Francis of Assisi)
13. Be martyrs for the Lord! Take up the cross of Christ!
14. Count your blessings. Don't worry, God's grace is enough.

3.14.2000

(The second half is based on Fr. A.'s Lenten recollection, ~1997)


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