Sunday, July 18, 2010

Forgiveness

 For the past few days, I've been reading an excellent book by Paul Rogat Loeb,  Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time. It looks like I have an older copy because in searching for the Amazon webpage, I found the subtitle is now "Living with Conviction in Challenging Times." Interesting. 

Several years ago my youngest daughter gave me one of Loeb's other books, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear. The title was more prophetic than I believe she knew at the time.


However, this blog entry won't be any kind of book review. No, I found two very meaningful quotes in Soul of a Citizen that I'd like to share. The first is from one of my favorite authors, Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen: "To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, 'I no longer hold offense against you.' But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the 'offended one.' The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to freedom of the children of God."


The second quote is from Doris Donnelly: "Without forgiveness, hurts grow unchecked and we recycle failures, resentments, bitterness, and mistrust in our lives. With forgiveness, hurts are acknowledged and healed, and we are able to break a mindless cycle of retaliation by saying that the decisions of human life, even when they turn out badly are not beyond repair."


Strong stuff - and particularly meaningful for me at this time.

4 comments:

Yarntangler said...

Thank you for this reminder. We all have someone we need to release from that burden and in doing so release ourselves.

Karen said...

Those are some really good quotes. I know from personal experience that forgiveness is quite liberating. I never knew how so until just a couple of years ago, when I forgave one of my biggest 'trespassers'.

Old Newsie said...

Thanks for these. Both are appropriate for my use now in our Sunday School class in reference to an incident that calls for foregiveness in the neighborhood. God Bless

AnnieSantiago said...

For me, forgiving others is easy. I've never been one to hold grudges. I get issues off my chest, then I forget. However, I find it more difficult to forgive myself... especially when I say or do things that I know have hurt someone. THAT type of forgiveness doesn't come so easily.