Struggling to Forgive

A good article that goes with Sunday’s readings. It hit home with me. What about you?

catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=6&art_id=30003

part of the issue, I suspect, is the confusion of an act of the will with an act of the emotions.

This was a really good article. It reminds me of the story of someone I know. If you don’t mind, I’ll share a brief version of her story here:

This girl I know (now a young woman) was verbally abused by her father for years. She feels the pain of this almost every day, because it still affects her relationships with men. For many years, she tried desperately to please her father, but nothing she did would make him love her. When she realized that it wasn’t her fault, she became very angry with her father. For nearly three years she harbored this anger. Finally, she realized that she had to forgive him. She didn’t want to forgive him, so she prayed for the grace to desire to forgive him. After a few months, she was given that grace, and she prayed that she would have the strength to truly forgive her father. After a few months of that, she realized that she no longer felt the anger. She still hurts, and she hasn’t forgotten what happened. She also knows that it would be foolish to try to act like her father won’t hurt her again, so she doesn’t share much about her life with him. Even so, she genuinely loves him and wants what’s best for him.
I saw the most powerful indication of her forgiveness last fall. One night, she was in tears because of the loneliness and pain she felt. It was obvious that she still acutely felt the pain of her broken relationship with her father, and that although she had let go of the anger, the wounds still remained. When I talked with her about it, she told me that she offered up her pain for her father’s healing. That struck me as a wonderful example of truly living out the forgiveness of Christ, who suffered for the ones who made him suffer.

[quote=otm]part of the issue, I suspect, is the confusion of an act of the will with an act of the emotions.
[/quote]

Bingo otm!! Feelings are neutral, it’s our response to them that counts.

Hello,

What a wonderful article. I have been hurt repeatedly this summer by my boss and my co workers and I have been praying for the grace to love them as my brothers in Christ. I ask Our Father to help me truly forgive them.
May I ask you to remember me in prayer? This hurt fills me with great sadness.

Thank you.

Jade.

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