[quote=John_Henry]God extends forgiveness to all. We appropriate that forgiveness through repentance (Sacrament of Penance). We are likewise called to extend forgiveness to all. They appropriate that forgiveness through repentance (being sorrowful and making amends, as best as possible). There is no contradiction.
This is a great response and I wish to build upon what you have written here. First of all, we have a partial answer on forgiveness in the Gospel story of the the servant who owed a huge debt to his master and he was forgiven the debt. However, another servant owed him a debt and instead of forgiving that other servant he had him tortured and thrown into prison. When the master found out, he was very angry and the first servant was punished because of his own lack of forgiveness. This is my paraphrase of the story.
When we have been hurt, for example abuse within the family, it is really hard to forgive the person or persons involved. As a child, you can try to forgive over and over again, but if the person who is inflicting the abuse never says sorry or never asks for forgiveness it is very difficult for us to respond and continue the forgiveness that we have given in the past. That is the point when bitterness of heart sets in, and when that happens we become slaves to our own egos, because we have forgotten the most important lesson in the Gospel message:
“Father, forgive them, they do no know what they are doing”.
Even though Judas betrayed Jesus, if Judas had sought forgiveness then who knows, I suspect that God would have forgiven him for the selfishness involved in his crimes.
If we are being victimized then it might be helpful to look to the Cross and remember what Jesus suffered for us in the way of wounds that were inflicted as he was being tortured by the Roman soldiers. Despite everything, from the Cross Jesus forgave them. We could all do well to follow His example instead of listening to our bruised egos.
(who has been a victim of abuse and recently learned that her son has also been a victim)