SELF-FORGIVENESS

Fr Jim Cogley



It is often said that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future. So many of the truly great Biblical characters had a serious past to come to terms with. Moses committed murder and blew his chances at the very time he could have helped his enslaved people the most. King David committed both adultery and murder in his attempt to have another man’s wife. Saul of Tarsus, who became St Paul, the greatest missionary who ever lived, had persecuted and likely killed, many of the early Christian community. Each in their own way must have found the capacity for self-forgiveness or they would never have had a future. This is something that requires a lot of humility and trust that God can write straight with the crooked lines of my life. Often pride gets in our way and deludes us into thinking that there is virtue in holding onto guilt. The lives of such great saints reminds us that the best way to redeem our past is to forgive ourselves and live fully for the rest of our lives. It is the only way we can honour the God of infinite mercy.