BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE LEARNED TO FORGIVE

Fr Jim Cogley


A fundamental misconception in relation to forgiveness is that it is primarily for the other person. At its deepest level it is a gift for ourselves that can release us from a hold that the past has over us and open up hope for the future. Forgiveness is not about reconciliation, since this involves at least two parties with both willing to engage in a process. This is about me freeing myself from the burden of hurt, bitterness and resentment that can so easily invade my soul. It is a means whereby I can exit the victim mode and no longer be identified with a perceived injustice. Brian Keenan, now an elderly man, who who spent years in a Beiruit prison was recently interviewed and asked if he had ever forgiven those who imprisoned and tortured him. He replied, that had he not forgiven he would still be in prison and continuing to torture himself. From the Gospels it is clear that there is no point where unforgiveness does not enslave our souls.