To be reconciled or not


#1

I have a problem and I’m hoping you kind people can help me sort through it. I am not Catholic, but I’m beginning religious education soon and I want to have a clean conscience.

My FIL has a long term GF (he’s been divorced from my MIL for about 20 years now) who I had a falling out with almost a year and a half ago. She overstepped her bounds with my ODD, when confronted about it denied it and has been denying it ever since (I was there and I know what happened). I have forgiven her for it, but I have absolutely no desire to be reconciled to her. She and I see each other only very rarely and we are polite to each other, but I have no desire to expose my DDs to a woman who is still lying about an event that I was there for…how could I trust her to tell the truth about what happens when I’m not around? Part of my Prot upbringing – not the teaching of the UMC, but what I was taught that “God wants” – is to forgive and forget and be reconciled no matter what the other person has done and to continue reconciling no matter what, based on the 7X70 passage in the Bible. But can God really want me to set myself and my family up to be hurt again by this woman? There is more to the story but I don’t believe that she has changed and also she has never sought forgiveness from me. Any thoughts?


#2

Too many abbreviations. I can’t understand what you’re saying.


#3

So far I got:
FIL = Father-in-law
MIL = Mother-in-law
GF = girlfriend

UMC = United Methodist Church?

ODD and DD – not even my 14 year old daughter knows these.


#4

I think DD= dear daughter. I’m not sure about ODD, though.

(very ODD!) :wink:


#5

[quote=KatarinaTherese]I think DD= dear daughter. I’m not sure about ODD, though.

(very ODD!) :wink:
[/quote]

Maybe ODD can mean Oldest Dear Daughter or Older Dear Daughter not sure. Just guessing. But that was a lot of abbreviations there. Maybe you can explain it better for us.

God Bless, Kerri


#6

I say if you’ve truly forvigen her in your heart and can honestly say that you only wish the best for her then you’re good to go. I don’t think you need to subject your DD (dear daughter) to any more abuse so I wouldn’t go out of my way to socialize with her. It’s not like she’s even married to your FIL (father in law) - she’s a girlfriend - big deal. When must see her, be nice and that’s it. I wouldn’t even be overly nice - that’s fake and she might think you want to have a relationship with her, which you don’t, right? But DON’T talk about her behind her back - that’s NOT being nice and it will get back to her. It always does. Now let it go.
Blessings,
CM
P.S. ODD = Oldest dear daughter??


#7

Sorry about the confusion with the acronyms.

UMC=United Methodist Church
DD/ODD=Dear Daughter/Older Dear Daughter
FIL/MIL=Father/Mother-In-Law
GF=Girlfriend

Thank you all for your replies!


#8

Dear Jazzbaby

If someone is repentant then you should forgive them.

If this person is not repentant and/or continues to treat you badly, you are not obliged as a Christian to forgive them.

Christ Jesus forgives the repentant sinner. Not the sinner who does not care about repenting nor desires not to repent.

In other words, if this person is sorry then you should forgive them if you desire to fulfill your Christian duty. But you are by no means required to forgive this person if they are not sorry at all.

Sometimes pride can stop someone saying they are sorry but in their hearts are sorry they ever caused a problem, if you suspect that is the case, forgive this person if you can.

Some people are able to forgive sins against them even when the person is not repentant and that is admirable, but it is not required of a Christian to forgive when there is no sign of remorse from the person who has sinned against them

It is up to you friend, if you wish to forgive this person, keeping in mind we will be forgiven by God in the manner that we forgive others of their sins against us…‘and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’

Forgiving someone does not mean we then set ourselves up again to be subjected to the possible same hurt again.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


#9

Dear Jazzbaby,

I think you have received some wrong advice. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2843 Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end,142 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."143 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.

We are to forgive all men, all offenses, all the time, whether or not they ask us for it. It has much to do with the heart issue of “binding and loosing” spoken about in the CCC above. The offender may never ask us for forgiveness, so does that mean we have no spiritual duty to forgive? Not at all.

It is not required that we resume relations or friendship as evidence to ourselves and others that we have really forgiven. No, we are not required to do this.

We are obliged to “loose” the the person who inflicts injury upon us, for until we do so, we keep them “bound” in our mental rehearsals of their wrongdoing. It eats away at our spirits and emotional health and peace, and does not free the other to go forward spiritually, either. Both parties remain bound in an invisible chain that will not be severed until the release of forgiveness takes place in at least one of them.

Christ warned us to settle quickly, for we will not be released until we have paid the last penny. Mt.5:26.


#10

[quote=Joysong]Dear Jazzbaby,

I think you have received some wrong advice. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2843 Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end,142 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."143 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.

We are to forgive all men, all offenses, all the time, whether or not they ask us for it. It has much to do with the heart issue of “binding and loosing” spoken about in the CCC above. The offender may never ask us for forgiveness, so does that mean we have no spiritual duty to forgive? Not at all.

It is not required that we resume relations or friendship as evidence to ourselves and others that we have really forgiven. No, we are not required to do this.

We are obliged to “loose” the the person who inflicts injury upon us, for until we do so, we keep them “bound” in our mental rehearsals of their wrongdoing. It eats away at our spirits and emotional health and peace, and does not free the other to go forward spiritually, either. Both parties remain bound in an invisible chain that will not be severed until the release of forgiveness takes place in at least one of them.

Christ warned us to settle quickly, for we will not be released until we have paid the last penny. Mt.5:26.
[/quote]

I would appreciate it if you would just leave me alone!

thank you

(my apologies to the creator of this thread and to those who view or post in it but I really cannot allow any further problems, I am very sorry for this in this thread)


#11

Springbreeze,

I believe my post was directed to Jazzbaby, to correct a serious misinterpretation of forgiveness.


#12

Dear Jazzbaby

This may help you…

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=10357&highlight=forgiveness

Certainly, we as Catholics (and Christians) are compelled to forgive those who sin against us. My question, though, is: What are the boundaries of this obligation? For example, if someone sins against us and is NOT repentant about it, do we still have an obligation to forgive? Or, is our only obligation in that example to be READY to forgive once the sinner repents? Thank you.



Chris Aubert
Covington, Louisiana
JMJ
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http://forums.catholic.com/images/statusicon_cad/post_old.gif August 4, 2004, 09:54 AM
Jim Blackburn http://forums.catholic.com/images/statusicon_cad/user_offline.gif vbmenu_register(“postmenu_132504”, true);
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 3, 2004
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Posts: 443

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Re: Scope of forgiveness
While we must be willing to forgive those who repent, we’re not obligated to forgive the un-repentant. Jesus said, “if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” (Lk 17:3).

To say that we are under an obligation to forgive even the un-repentant is to hold ourselves to a higher standard than God holds himself to. God does not forgive the unrepentant. But if we repent, our sins will be forgiven. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).


Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Apologist

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


#13

Well now, Jazzbaby,

It seems you have two choices to follow in forming your conscience: Church teaching as stated in the CCC, or an apologist’s teaching.

To honor the memory and lived teaching of our saintly Pope John Paul II, may I offer consideration of his example to help you. I doubt that the man who tried to kill him, repented and sent a note asking the Pope to forgive him, although he may have, unknown to any of us.

Irregardless of whether or not the man repented, Pope John Paul sought him out and extended his forgiveness. He “unbound” the man, should there be no further opportunity of his learning that the Pope had done so. Either person could have been called home to the Lord without the gesture of forgiveness having been realized.

The difficulty here, is when the offended party has no idea that the person has repented, either privately in sacramental confession, or just in his heart to God. Until he is convicted by the Holy Spirit that it is good to express that to the one he offended, there is a void. Should the injured party nurture unforgiveness, thereby, since he has not obtained this knowledge of his repentence? Absolutely not.

I have the feeling Mr. Blackburn may have been speaking about those who absolutely, publicly avow that they are not repentent. Even there, I believe we need to free our spirit from the venom of nurturing unforgiveness.


#14

Dear Jazzbaby

Well you have one person’s interpretation on that part of the catechism, I do not see any place there where it says specifically to forgive unrepentant sinners. As the apologist said, we are not greater than God and God does not forgive unrepentant sinners.

Now it is silly to keep addressing the creator of this thread as a ruse to make an argument, so I will graciously await a specific answer to this question and post when I have one.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


#15

Dear Jazzbaby

Taken from This Rock by Jim Akin

catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0309bt.asp

Preemptive Forgiveness?

We aren’t obligated to forgive people who do not want us to. This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that people have regarding the topic. People have seen “unconditional” forgiveness and love hammered so often that they feel obligated to forgive someone even before that person has repented. Sometimes they even tell the unrepentant that they have preemptively forgiven him (much to the impenitent’s annoyance).

This is not what is required of us.

Consider Luke 17:3–4, where Jesus tells us, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Notice that Jesus says to forgive him if he repents, not regardless of whether he does so. Jesus also envisions the person coming back to you and admitting his wrong.

The upshot? If someone isn’t repentant, you don’t have to forgive him.

If you do forgive him anyway, that can be meritorious, provided it doesn’t otherwise have bad effects (e.g., encouraging future bad behavior). But it isn’t required of us that we forgive the person.

This may strike some people as odd. They may have heard unconditional love and forgiveness preached so often that the idea of not indiscriminately forgiving everybody sounds unspiritual to them. They might even ask, “But wouldn’t it be more spiritual to forgive everyone?”

I sympathize with this argument, but there is a two-word rejoinder to it: God doesn’t.

Not everybody is forgiven. Otherwise, we’d all be walking around in a state of grace all the time and have no need of repentance to attain salvation. God doesn’t like people being unforgiven, and he is willing to grant forgiveness to all, but he isn’t willing to force it on people who don’t want it. If people are unrepentant of what they know to be sinful, they are not forgiven.

Jesus died once and for all to pay a price sufficient to cover all the sins of our lives, but God doesn’t apply his forgiveness to us in a once-and-for-all manner. He forgives us as we repent. That’s why we continue to pray “Forgive us our trespasses,” because we regularly have new sins that we have repented of—some venial and some mortal, but all needing forgiveness.

If God doesn’t forgive the unrepentant, and it is not correct to tell people that they need to do so, what is required of us?

You may like to read the whole article. It is very informative

I think that is enough information to show that we are not obliged to forgive the unrepentant sinner.

We can forgive if we wish to, but we are not obliged as a Christian to forgive the unrepentant sinner, God doesn’t, as stated in my initial post .

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


#16

An important closing of the above-referenced article:

**

**And what if a person doesn’t repent when all is said and done?
**

At some point we need to let our feeling of anger fade, not for his sake but for ours. It isn’t good for us to stay angry, and it poses temptations to sin. Ultimately, we have to let go of the feeling of anger and move on with life. Frequently we have to do so even when a person has not repented.

But for the person himself, what should we hope? With regret, we recognize that it is appropriate that he gets what he chose, even if that was hell. This is, after all, the attitude taken by God toward those who choose death rather than life.
**
And this would be called “forgiveness” of the trespass another has dealt to us, in order to “let it go” and move on - whether or not they repent, for one’s own spiritual and emotional health.


#17

[quote=Joysong]An important closing of the above-referenced article:

And this would be called “forgiveness” of the trespass another has dealt to us, in order to “let it go” and move on - whether or not they repent, for one’s own spiritual and emotional health.
[/quote]

Letting go of anger is not the same as forgiveness, but you can read into it what you like. I’ll just sit and watch you argue your way out of a paper bag, you just want to argue with me.


#18

Carole I really do wish you well, but I would appreciate it if you would now just leave me alone.


#19

Dear Springbreeze,

You may assume that my only intent is to argue with you, and if that were the case, you would see me all over the forum in all of your posts.

No, this is a serious matter to instruct another soul that they do not have to forgive unless the offender expresses repentence. And who is the judge of whether or not the person has repented?

Yes, I will abandon speaking with you, but I could not allow Jazzbaby to believe your statement without offering something higher. You are attempting to become a Carmelite, and as such, are called to give a far different witness of our spirituality to others. I pray you would read Chapters 36:11 and 36:12 of Way of Perfection which speaks about the manner a person who knows the Lord forgives, the same way Pope John Paul, a Carmelite, forgave. St. Teresa goes to the heart of the Our Father, and forgiving trespasses. It can be found on line with an appropriate search.


#20

[quote=Joysong]Dear Springbreeze,

You may assume that my only intent is to argue with you, and if that were the case you would see me all over the forum in all of your posts.

No, this is a serious matter to instruct another soul that they do not have to forgive unless the offender expresses repentence. And who is the judge of whether or not the person has repented?

Yes, I will abandon speaking with you, but I could not allow Jazzbaby to believe your statement without offering something higher. You are attempting to become a Carmelite, and as such, are called to give a far different witness of our spirituality to others. I pray you would read Chapters 36:11 and 36:12 of Way of Perfection which speaks about the manner a person who knows the Lord forgives, the same way Pope John Paul, a Carmelite, forgave. St. Teresa goes to the heart of the Our Father, and forgiving trespasses. It can be found on line with an appropriate search.
[/quote]

Dear Carole

Something higher? What you are stating is wrong and the writer would contradict himself if he was to then say at the end forgive everyone regardless. He does not say that and it is you who is not giving sound advice.

It clearly states we are not bound by faith to forgive the unrepentant and if YOU choose not to accept that that is up to you, but it also clearly says it would be wrong to tell people to forgive the unrepentant.

No-one knows what goes on in the confessional, but that is not what Christ Jesus says…He says if they repent TO YOU then forgive them if they do not you are not bound to forgive them and ultimately only God can forgive sins. If God has forgiven them then all the good, but if that person never made an apology to you then you are not obliged to forgive them, you can if you want, but you are not bound by faith to do that.

That’s my last word on it

This is an opportunity for you to argue with me and I am not so naive to believe otherwise

Drop it

end of the document provided:

If a person with whom we are angry repents, then the obligation to forgive kicks in. This means that we must be willing to set aside our anger because he no longer deserves it. We may still feel it for a time, and it can even be advisable to let him know this in order to underscore the lesson he needs to have learned. But we do need to manage our emotions so that we let the anger go and, to the best of our ability, encourage it to fade.

And what if a person doesn’t repent when all is said and done?

At some point we need to let our feeling of anger fade, not for his sake but for ours. It isn’t good for us to stay angry, and it poses temptations to sin. Ultimately, we have to let go of the feeling of anger and move on with life. Frequently we have to do so even when a person has not repented.

But for the person himself, what should we hope? With regret, we recognize that it is appropriate that he gets what he chose, even if that was hell. This is, after all, the attitude taken by God toward those who choose death rather than life.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa


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