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27 October 2014


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What does it mean to forgive? Hard to say with deep wounds. In yesterday's homily, the deacon said, "You can't bring your grudges into heaven." I believe this, but it is a hard saying. I have to hope that wanting to not have a grudge will be good enough to work with instead of actually not having a grudge. The best I can hope for with certain people and certain situations is the desire to let go, but the pain and guardedness will always be there on this side of heaven.


At first read I thought you meant that what the scrupulous person needed was forgiveness. Then I realized that you were comparing the two in terms of non-existent algorithms. Then I thought that maybe the overly scrupulous, no matter what their object of scrupulosity is, do need forgiveness anyway?


Man, that makes no sense. Blame it on the lack of sleep.


This is a good analysis. I have, in both of those situations (fertility and forgiveness) wished for the algorithm. By checking off the boxes I could be done and let it stop consuming my mental space and energy. But ultimately I've grown from the grappling. Grown from praying and seeking and trying to do just the "next right thing".

God has left us with this grappling for His reasons and I trust that His ways are higher than mine (at least I try to!).

Thanks for drawing this parallel. More food for thought!


might you have any books/web articles to recommend on this topic? it's become a live question again for us.

thanks for your fine work.

peace keep you.


Oh, how I have been wishing for an algorithm for forgiveness, even though everything you say about the danger of having one is true.

My last conversation with my confessor, in the box, was all about the difficulty of forgiveness, and particularly the difficulty of knowing when you just haven't forgiven someone, and when you have, or at least are seriously working on it, but the hurt of what they've done to you is still with you. What do you do with that?

It's particularly difficult -- as I told my confessor -- when a) you're still hurting, b) the situation hasn't really been resolved, except for your saying, "I forgive you," and the matter being basically dropped, even though it was pretty serious, and c) the other person isn't all that sorry and thinks you should totally be over it by now.

So my confession was like, "I'm not trying to say that I'm not culpable here, but I really don't know where the line is, so to the extent that I've crossed wherever the line is and am culpable for hanging onto my hurt, I accuse myself . . . "

Fortunately my confessor is a very patient and understanding man.

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