To forgive or not forgive is too frequently the question. As Christians, we know that forgiveness is a two-way street.
Sadly, when it comes to forgiving those who have trespassed against us, or humbly asking forgiveness, we often find ourselves miserably entangled in an angry web of pride and self-righteousness. That’s when we begin to pick and choose – making a cafeteria buffet out of the Word of God - and blindly pass over a simple two-letter word.
“As” makes all the difference in this world and in eternity. The Word of God and the teaching of the Church is crystal clear. “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” – CCC #2838
In our wretchedness, particularly in times of mortal sin, we can sprint to the confession line for God’s mercy. “Our hope is firm because, in his Son, ‘we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ We find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church.” - CCC #2839
“Now - and this is daunting - this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love…” – CCC #2840
Unforgiveness - refusing to forgive or ask forgiveness - is a very slow and deadly poison. The only antidote is forgiveness - given and received - through Christ-like, crucified love. We must be a people of peace and forgiveness if we are to be a people worthy of His merciful love.
Confess your sins and ask forgiveness. Forgive others and mend your ways, and your heart will be wide open to His grace.
Whom must you forgive?
More 4 U on Forgiveness
- 7 Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn
- Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
- Rosario Rodriguez: A Witness of the Greater Good
- Your Stable, the Manger and the Dung Heap
Copyright 2014, Brian K. Kravec
About the Author
Brian is a cradle Catholic, husband and father. He's the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Possibility Productions, a 501(c)(3) faith event evangelization apostolate in service of the Body of Christ. Brian has proudly served the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno on the Board of Directors for KNXT Catholic Television, is the Steward of St. Patrick’s Faith Event Ministry for his local parish and a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Brian and his wife are consecrated members of the Militia Immaculata. For information on the MI and Total Consecration visit Consecration.com.