|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!