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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Forgive and forget

By Lara

File:PenitientGirl Rotari.JPG
The Penitent Girl by Rotari (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).

I’m in a bit of a pickle.  Over the past year, I have completed most of the works of mercy.  But there is one that I have avoided with a vengeance -- forgiveness.

Forgive others.  It sounds simple compared to some of the other works of mercy that have been more time-consuming. After all, I wouldn’t have to find a person in need or an organization to help.  I don’t have to make phone calls or appointments.  I don’t even have to go anywhere.  Doing it lies within me.  Yet, when I get into the elusive details of this fundamental teaching of my faith, forgive and forget easily turns into forget.  As in, forget it.

The concept of forgiveness truly mystifies me.  I picture a magician waving a wand, saying an incantation – maybe even a small cloud of smoke appears. Poof!  Ladies and gentlemen, we have forgiveness!

Except we don’t. 

I don’t want you to misunderstand either.  I am a very easy going person.  I don’t hold grudges.  There’s nobody I wish ill on and to my recollection there never has been. 

A few months ago, a decades old wound was opened.  I was surprised how bad it both hurt and angered me when it was something so far removed from my life. 

Would I have felt that way, if had I forgiven this person?

For days I thought about the encounter.  I hated that it bothered me. I was mad at myself for being bothered.  I felt angsty, confused and sad. I thought a lot about the person I was at the time.  It occurred to me that I needed to forgive myself as much as anyone.   

Continue reading at Lara's blog  Mercy Me! I've got work to do!

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