Forgiveness???


#1

I am truly sorry for things that I have done in my past. I tried to ask forgiveness of the party I hurt but they want nothing to do with me, as I have caused irreputable damage in their lives.
I have confessed it in confession but still I feel this massive amount of guilt for what I have done and it ended two, almost three years ago.
How do I get over this guilt? It’s consuming my life and keeping me from being truly happy. This scenario that I was involved in also is what drove me away from the Church, as I was lost deep in the devil’s clutches.
I sometimes sit and wonder how much different and better my life would have been if this whole thing had never happened. It seems like it was a long time ago but the memory still haunts me as though it happened yesterday.
I’ve tried praying about it but nothing changes the guilt I feel. Is this my punishment? Do I have to live with this guilt for the rest of my life? I deserve it though because I did a horrible, horrible thing.
I guess what I’m asking is there any hope or is this my cross that I have to bear until I die???


#2

I have certainly been in your shoes in terms of the “never ending guilt” for past actions. Someone had said to me that it is a sin, or at least faulty thinking, not to trust in God’s forgiveness. I find a lot solace in the Divine Mercy. Check out St . Faustina’s writings. I hope this helps! Believe in God’s forgiveness… this should be your hope to move past your guilt. God does not want you to feel guilty… he wants you to be truly sorry for the sin and repent… sounds like you are doing this… just be honest with God (and your Confessor). Maybe ask your Confessor for some ways to move past this guilt.
Peace be with you!!!


#3

Anyone who refuses to forgive a repentant person - and persists in that refusal - is a selfish monster.

Forgiving is not always easy, but when a person is repentant, Christ expects - nay, demands - that the offended party make the effort to forgive them, because HE has already done so.

Give these people time, mrs_abbot, they may come around.
If not, pray for their souls, because a persistent refusal to forgive is a mortal and deadly fatal sin against God.

I have an old friend who is pulling that nonsense on me over something that happened 26 years ago.
Sheesh. You would think that people in their 40s could forgive something that happened back in the teen years, but some people just won’t.

God be with you.
Love,
Jaypeeto3 (aka Jaypeeto4)


#4

This person that will not forgive you is in the wrong.

Could it be the source of your guilt is their refusal to forgive you? Do you feel like this is still affecting their life because they won’t have anything to do with you? Chances are-- they have moved on and are just withholding their “forgiveness” to hurt you.

Truly, they may never even think about you or what happened at all anymore. Don’t let them have this power over you. You have offered the olive branch, you have been forgiven in Confession. Perhaps the best course of action at this point is to just stop thinking about it and let time heal the wound.

Funny but true story about how we can get things in our minds-- like that this person is still upset and hurting over what you did: I had a boyfriend in college that I thought I would marry. He did some terrible things that really hurt me and broke my heart. We had mutual friends with whom I stayed in touch. Several years later they told me Mr. X felt terrible that I had not married because I was still so hurt over him. OMG-- that was the biggest laugh EVER. I had not married because of him? I hadn’t even thought about him in years. He had this idea in his head that my whole life revolved around what he did to me and that I still pined over him… and I was long over it.

Not to dismiss your very real feelings-- but could you possibly be guilty over something they don’t even care about at all at this point?


#5

Isn’t this a little strong? I suggest that one turn this person (“monster”) over to Christ and if feel called to do so, pray for that person’s conversion …lest one may find themself in need of further repentance.


#6

CCC 982 There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. "There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin.

If you have went to the injured party and asked forgiveness and the don’t accept, then the onus is on them.

Leave your burdens in Confessional, and continue to pray for those people that don’t accept your sincerity.

And hard as it may seem, try and stop cutting a rod for your own back everyday, you’ve done your bit, God sees all and knows you’ve tried.

CCC 2843 Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end, become a living reality. The parable of the merciless servant, which crowns the Lord’s teaching on ecclesial communion, ends with these words: “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” It is there, in fact, “in the depths of the heart,” that everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession.

Anyway I’ve often fallen out with people, but have to admit I’m always the first to make up, but anyway if they didn’t accept, I just say like I’m saying to you, I did my bit, they don’t accept, oh well, and move on.

Matt: 614 For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. 15** But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences. **

Anyway, Jesus made it quite clear above, so…** Matt:5:44 **But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.

Matthew puts the onus on those that won’t forgive, a very serious place for them to be, they need your prayers, and the prayers you say for them, shall be reflected back to you.


#7

How would you say we respond to someone who has committed a terrible sin/crime, sits in prison, and you really do not know for sure if they have “repented” completely or not?
*(Really, only God alone can ever KNOW the sincerity of one’s repentance. I think “acknowlegement” of what they did should be a sufficient start and assumption that repentance has at least begun.)

What if this is a close family member? A family member who has done terrible things - maybe not to you personally - but to others in the family? (And now sits in prison for it).
What if this person acknowleged the crimes - pled guilty, never balked at the punishment deserved etc.

Who then does this person need to ask for forgiveness of (other than God of course)? To the direct victim/s - or everyone he/she can think of that may have been hurt or been caused pain indirectly?

And in a case like this, is it acceptable to reject this person and refuse all contact?
Didn’t Christ tell us to forgive “seventy times seven”??
To "turn the other cheek?"
That if we do not forgive others - God will not forgive us?

Where does it say in scripture that ONLY when a sinner has repented that we then must forgive them and love them?

I don’t think it says that. If it did - most prisoners for instance would rot in prison forever as most deny they’ve done anything wrong.
One of the Works of Mercy is to visit those in prison.
Not just those who’ve "repented."
Right?


#8

I also had a terrible sin that i did against my husband years ago and he forgave me right away but it wasn’t till going to confession that I realized it was still in my person and I had not really got rid of it by just pretending to put it out of my mind. So the priest has helped me thru this and part of the sin was actually part of my personality so I still work on this with prayer and confession only now God and the spirit enlightens me as to temptation. My dh still does not trust me completely and I now don’t think that I should actually expect that much from him afterall when one is totally betrayed how can a peraon totally trust again. Much too expect but the gaining of the trust is a goal and we are closer now as we both talk about the temptations out there only some succumb and others don’t. I don’t know if you are expecting total forgivenes from this person but Jesus has given you this already and if that person dies tommorrow you can live on knowing Our Jesus forgives you and has made you clean and you will live with Him forever. It is not that persons forgiveness that YOU HAve to attain. God Bless You return :smiley:


#9

I think I might need to confess it again but also ask how I can go about removing the guilt from my life.
I could try and contact the person I hurt but she will have nothing to do with me. I tried doing that earlier this year and wrote her a lengthy apology and she just yelled at me and told me to leave her alone and that she wanted nothing to do with me EVER!
I’m abiding by her wishes and not attempting to talk to her anymore and I hoped by abiding by her wishes that would alleviate some guilt but it hasn’t.
Thank you all for offering personal insight and advice! I really appreciate it!!!


#10

:thumbsup:

That’s good, but you can’t make THEM forgive you. This is when you leave it in God’s Hands and say “Lord, I tried to tell them I’m sorry, you know that I tried. I can’t change the way they “feel” but I still can be sure to try not to hurt them again. I’m responisble for my actions and reactions. Lord Please help me learn to let go and let YOU.”

:thumbsup:

Just continue to give it up to God. And know that you can’t change the way the people around you react or feel, but you can change how you feel and react.

Happiness comes from God. There are many things that will affect our life. Things can influence our “feelings” however they can’t MAKE us feel a certain way. We do that to ourselves. No one is to blame for our feelings. Feelings are spontaneous inner reactions to the environment around us.

I think this prayer might help:

[SIGN]God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right, if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. AMEN[/SIGN]

I wish I could upload an mp3 file to the forum…
…I think you would find it to be “peaceful”.


#11

I said that any person who refuses to forgive a repentant sinner and who persists in that refusal, is a selfish monster.
That is not too strong at all. For such a person is willing by their malice and hard-heartedness to destroy the repentance and soul of the repentant person. That is monstrous.
Of course, I agree that we should pray for unforgiving people, and I do so every day believe it or not. But that doesn’t make their self-righteousness, hard-heartedness and selfishness any less vengeful and monstrous.

Love,
Jaypeeto3 (aka Jaypeeto4)


#12

It may be too soon for that other person to fell forgiving. Some offenses may be very long lasting. Personally I don’t hold grudges for very long but no one has offended me in a very serious manner (yet).

BUT (God forbid) is someone were to serious hurt (of kill)someone in my family, I think it would take quite a few years for me to get over that especially if it were deliberate and particularly malicious.

Some folks take minor offenses and drag out their disdain for years. That is petty and monsterous. BUT someone is very seriously hurt may legitimately take a very long time to heal


#13

Hi, Mrs. Abbott,

I did something 22 years ago and I would say I finally have peace with God over it but that is only because I focused on God’s forgiveness being the only one that truly mattered. While it would be nice if that person would forgive you(and they are required by God to do so)it looks like you cant count on that forgiveness from them. Turn to God and focus on the fact that He promises to forgive us if we truly repent. :thumbsup: :yup: Hopefully some day that person will soften their heart and forgive you.:smiley:


#14

Not wanting to have anything to do with you is not the same as not forgiving you. I had a situation with a former friend where they did things that I could & did forgive but I decided I no longer wanted those people in my life. I don’t hate them, I don’t wish them ill, but I just want nothing further to do with them.

You will likely never be able to regain this person’s friendship, but that doesn’t mean that you are not forgiven and they are not moving on.

It doesn’t mean you will be at peace with yourself immediately, but over time you should be able to heal. The Divine Mercy was an excellent suggestion by another poster.

Maybe the guilt you are feeling is that there is nothing you can do to “make it better”. You can’t fix it, you can’t restore what was. Maybe it’s not a feeling of guilt really, but of helplessness to change the situation.

In that sense, yes it is a cross to bear because it is out of your power to fix.


#15

I’ll just tell you the scenario and you can judge accordingly:
I was “the other woman” in a relationship for two years. I knew he was married and all that so it was a very horrible thing that I did. I look back on it and realize I was being VERY selfish and cared about no one’s happiness but my own.
That relationship ended right before I got pregnant with my son, which is a whole OTHER story, and I’ve been trying to make amends with that guy’s wife ever since.
Of course she hates me, who wouldn’t? I was a horrible person then and caused alot of damage.
They are still married and have had more children and I guess are happy, from what I’ve heard from people.
It’s by far the most serious thing I’ve ever done to offend God in my entire life. It makes me sick thinking that I did that. :frowning:


#16

not necessarily.
they may be hurt so deeply they have not recovered.
they may not know, or care to know, all the factors that influenced the original action
they may not be realistic in their own assessment or reaction to the original situation
they may be influenced by third parties
they may feel that forgiveness somehow condones the original action, and be loathe to do that for fear of sending the wrong message, enabling further destructive behavior, or causing scandal.

there is no way you can make such a blanket statement about someone you don’t even know, about a situation you know nothing about.

forgiveness is a process, like grief, with several, successive, defined steps, and you can’t get to the last step until you have gone through the preceding steps. Like grief, there is no time limit you can set for when you should “get over it”. It takes as long as it takes.

forgiveness does not necessarily imply an exchange or personal contact between the two parties of the original situation, either, it is primarily an intellectual decision made by the injured party to release oneself from the bitterness, resentment and harmful effects of the offense. It does not require that there be reconciliation, although that is a worthy goal. There is also nothing the offending party can do beyond a sincere apology, and making whatever restitution is possible.

to keep trying to contact the party we have injured is probably not going to help the situation, and will probably make it worse. the best thing for the person who was in the wrong to do, once they have acknowledged it, ended to situation, apologized, and made restitution is to confess and ask for absolution, and do penance.

The lingering guilt is actually healthy, and has many spiritual benefits. it makes us more attuned to possible areas of tempation we may face in the future, it makes us more sensitive to the possibility of our harming others, it makes us more aware of the effects of our words actions (for good or ill) on others, and makes us more empathetic to others who have been hurt. For someone experiencing remorse over sins that have been absolved, adopting some penitential practice, with the approval of one’s confessor, can be a very helpful spiritual practice.


#17

For my own penances,
I pray daily for the salvation of the person I so horribly hurt and offended, even though they won’t forgive me no matter what I do. I also, as a penance, pray the Chaplet of the Holy Wounds for the souls suffering in purgatory.

I disagree with the poster who said that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily imply reconciliation. You don’t have to be the offending party’s best buddy anymore, but to refuse to even say “Hello” is downright obscene, destructive, and horrendously cruel.

Can you imagine a heaven filled with people who have “forgiven” each other yet won’t have anything to do with each other??? THAT is not heaven,
that is Hell.

God bless,
Jaypeeto3 (aka Jaypeeto4)


#18

You are not the total guilty party, here it takes two to tango and it is really rarely only one persons fault. The good thing is you are back to your church and confessing to make things right with Jesus. She or they are probably a bit convicted that you are reminding them of what they should be doing to do right so she doesn’t want a reminder around her. Don’t let anything seperate you from your faith again. I pray you get through all this :slight_smile: return


#19

It is good that you know what you did was not just wrong but sin. It is good you feel remorse and guilt. It is good you have gone to confession and received absolution.

As the “wife” in a similar scenario, let me tell you that she will probably hold a grudge against you the rest of her life or until God moves in such a way that shows her what true forgiveness will bring to her life, only then can she let it go. It took me years to forgive the “other woman” (and for the record, I am not married to that man but she is.) I spent many years in therapy trying to be de-programmed from the years of violence I spent married to this man. I thought one time that I forgave her, but going to my very first confession, my priest helped me see how I was holding onto the anger and hurt. She was my friend, the only friend I was allowed to have. It was the ultimate betrayl, not only to me but my kids. I realized in that confession that I needed to practice forgiveness on a daily basis, not only with her but my ex as well. And I even need to ask God for help in practicing that forgiveness.

As far as your guilt, I can only say that I still feel guilt from having an abortion. I confessed it and I know that God has forgiven me. Daily, I have to ask His help in understanding His forgiveness and love because if I don’t I wind up in a deep depression. This is a big area for Satan to just grab hold of your heart and not let go. You are holding on to the guilt and not accepting the forgiveness and mercy of God. He loves you so much, and even though He greived when you sinned, He rejoiced more when you came back to Him!!!

You have done your part in not only asking forgiveness from God, but from the woman you injured. That must have taken a lot of courage. I wish the woman in my story had that much courage and class. All you can do for her is pray. Offer up prayers for her. She is lashing out at you bc she does not have peace in her life, she won’t have that until she forgives. Pray for her daily, everytime you feel guilty, pray for her and let the guilt go.

Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

Pax Vobiscum


#20

Your sins aren’t bigger than Gods Mercy.

** Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.** Saint Faustina

“I desire the confidence of My people. Let not even the weak and very sinful fear to approach me: even if their sins be as numerous as all the sands of the earth all will be forgiven in the fathomless pit of my Mercy.”

Don’t distrust Gods Mercy, Jesus said distrust tears at His Heart.

An act of Hope is a good start, what works for me is the Litany of Mercy, it helps my flagging confidence, try it, if you please.

And stop listening to the whispers of the evil one, like Jesus say, “get behind me satan”.


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