A Heart Beat Away From Judgment: Are You Ready?
#21
(06-17-2014, 01:59 PM)Chestertonian Wrote: Forgiveness is a tough one... I know for me, it is something I have to purposefully do every day.

I am a sexual assault survivor and I've talked to a lot of survivors who resent being told to forgive their attacker.  Many maintain it isn't possible.  I recall being told by a priest that I will never heal until I forgive him.  I think what a lot of non survivors don't realize is that when you have PTSD, the hurt just keeps resurfacing.  THe event might have ended in chronology, but random things in your environment can set off a chain reaction of memories inside your head and you can go from business as usual to back to the scene of the crime, unaware that  any time has passed.  Flashbacks can be so vivid, you think it's happening all over again.  

I am still recalling events from the assault that must have been buried inside my head.  I didn't think it was possible for someone to hate me so much.  clearly his entire goal was my annihilation, not just physical but psychological and spiritual annihilation.  It's difficult to be a recipient of this kind of hatred without being filled with hatred.

at this time, he has never asked for my forgiveness.  I think that if he were to do this, I would hope I would say "I forgive you."  As it stands, I have no idea what he is plotting to do to me.  I hope that he at the very least isn't intending to go after me again, or even worse, my family.

I told a priest once about this and his response was, "you have to forgive him."  but i still wonder what that is supposed to look like for me.  I still wish he had a longer sentence, not just for me but for my family who he said he would murder, and for anyone else who might find themselves in a similar predicament.  I can't imagine that I was his only victim.  I want to be merciful but I also want justice.  Sometimes being told to forgive sometimes makes me feel like I'm supposed to just gloss over the damage that he did, or act like it never happened and say "We're cool."

for me, forgiveness is something I try to do on a continuous basis because the trauma emerges and re emerges continuously.  I can't say there will ever be a time when it will be a done deal.
I find some similarities to my situations in your post.  Like J Michael, I am sorry that this has happened to you. Like you I am wounded, but  in a different way. More psychologically though. Yes, it is at least a weekly occurrence. I admit that I am an emotional geared person. I am a melancholic with scars.  Thank you for being open.
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#22
(06-17-2014, 12:55 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I'm one of those guys that, had i been born in another time and place and been a mafia don, would have killed people that screwed me over decades prior just because i don't forget. Forgiveness is hard for me and once you screw me over you're no longer someone I still deal with, ever. That being said there is a difference between forgiving and forgetting; we should forgive because Our Lord asks us and because grudges harm us but we don't have to like the person that harmed us or give them second chances. Forgive for God's sake and your own healing but sometimes it's ok to want nothing to do with that person.

I don't think I've quite gotten there yet, but a priest once told me that if we truly forgive deeply and sincerely enough we will eventually forget.  (Maybe he was referring to my impending senility  :grin:.)
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#23
I strongly recommend listening to these sermons of Fr. Ripperger on healing and wounds:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling2.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds2.mp3

In one of these sermons (I forget which), he points out that one should try not to keep calling an injury to mind, because doing that, one re-inflicts the wound.

These and all of Fr. Ripperger's sermons and talks are excellent.  They may be found at his Web site, Sensus Traditionis.
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#24
(06-17-2014, 03:12 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote: I strongly recommend listening to these sermons of Fr. Ripperger on healing and wounds:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling2.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds2.mp3

In one of these sermons (I forget which), he points out that one should try not to keep calling an injury to mind, because doing that, one re-inflicts the wound.

These and all of Fr. Ripperger's sermons and talks are excellent.  They may be found at his Web site, Sensus Traditionis.
I will have to save those for when in in a place where I can concentrate

With PTSD the thoughts are intrusive,......
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#25
(06-17-2014, 03:19 PM)Chestertonian Wrote:
(06-17-2014, 03:12 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote: I strongly recommend listening to these sermons of Fr. Ripperger on healing and wounds:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...aling2.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds1.mp3
http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudi...ounds2.mp3

In one of these sermons (I forget which), he points out that one should try not to keep calling an injury to mind, because doing that, one re-inflicts the wound.

These and all of Fr. Ripperger's sermons and talks are excellent.  They may be found at his Web site, Sensus Traditionis.
I will have to save those for when in in a place where I can concentrate

With PTSD the thoughts are intrusive,......

Have you had some therapy for the ptsd?
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#26


My understanding, and the only thing that makes any sense to me, is that we aren't expected to "forgive" people who haven't asked us in some way to forgive them, who haven't repented. God Himself doesn't forgive us sins we're not repentant of, so how can we be held to a higher standard than the Greatest Good, Our Holy God Himself?

I think we're supposed to pray about things (always) and try to give others the benefit of the doubt, forgive those who act out of ignorance instead of malice ("Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do"), not assume malice when there may not have been any intended, pray the offender was acting out of ignorance and not malice, not seek vengeance, etc., but to, say, forgive someone who (sorry, but am going to make this as hideous as possible to get the point across) takes your three-year old boy, rapes him, takes porny pictures of him, tortures him, mutilates him, murders him in a paintful manner, dismembers him, eats his the body parts, takes pictures of all this and makes a profit on them in some weird part of the "DarkNet," laughs at you in Court and tells you he loved every second of it -- it makes no sense to me. Unless such a man were to fall on his knees and ask God to forgive him, God Himself won't, so how can we be expected to? I think it can be argued that expecting some parent who's endured such a thing to forgive such a person is to deprive him of his righteous anger and to add a layer of guilt to his suffering.

I think it makes sense to feel what you "gotta" feel until it's spent and you're "done" with it (if you get emotionally "stuck" such that it messes up your or others' lives, then there's something to work on), pray for peace, pray that the person repents so that you can -- and would have a DUTY to -- forgive him (I think THAT is what is meant when priests say "you have to forgive him" in all situations), not focus so much on your pain that you fail to see goodness and beauty, etc..  But to be told to just "forgive" even if there's no repentance isn't helpful to anyone and, as said, seems to be a matter of folks holding us to a "higher" standard than God HImself has.

So, to sum up:  unless forgiveness is asked for, praying that your offender repents is the only thing that "forgiveness" can possibly mean and that makes sense to me.

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#27
(06-17-2014, 03:58 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: My understanding, and the only thing that makes any sense to me, is that we aren't expected to "forgive" people who haven't asked us in some way to forgive them, who haven't repented. God Himself doesn't forgive us sins we're not repentant of, so how can we be held to a higher standard than the Greatest Good, Our Holy God Himself?

I think we're supposed to pray about things (always) and try to give others the benefit of the doubt, forgive those who act out of ignorance instead of malice ("Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do"), not assume malice when there may not have been any intended, pray the offender was acting out of ignorance and not malice, not seek vengeance, etc., but to, say, forgive someone who (sorry, but am going to make this as hideous as possible to get the point across) takes your three-year old boy, rapes him, takes porny pictures of him, tortures him, mutilates him, murders him in a paintful manner, dismembers him, eats his the body parts, takes pictures of all this and makes a profit on them in some weird part of the "DarkNet," laughs at you in Court and tells you he loved every second of it -- it makes no sense to me. Unless such a man were to fall on his knees and ask God to forgive him, God Himself won't, so how can we be expected to? I think it can be argued that expecting some parent who's endured such a thing to forgive such a person is to deprive him of his righteous anger and to add a layer of guilt to his suffering.

I think it makes sense to feel what you "gotta" feel until it's spent and you're "done" with it (if you get emotionally "stuck" such that it messes up your or others' lives, then there's something to work on), pray for peace, pray that the person repents so that you can -- and would have a DUTY to -- forgive him (I think THAT is what is meant when priests say "you have to forgive him" in all situations), not focus so much on your pain that you fail to see goodness and beauty, etc..  But to be told to just "forgive" even if there's no repentance isn't helpful to anyone and, as said, seems to be a matter of folks holding us to a "higher" standard than God HImself has.

So, to sum up:  unless forgiveness is asked for, praying that your offender repents is the only thing that "forgiveness" can possibly mean and that makes sense to me.

On the whole, I'd agree with you.  I also know that some things are easier to forgive than others--that should be self-evident  :).  And I know, too, that sometimes it is just plain impossible for someone to ask for forgiveness--they may have died, they may be unaware that they've offended/hurt/violated another (yes, many folks are pretty unaware of things!), etc.  And I know, too, from personal experience that to forgive, even when it's not been asked for, has a greater chance of leading me to healing than to not forgive.  I cannot control whether or not someone repents of their sin against me, just as I cannot control whether or not they will forgive me when I ask for their forgiveness for my transgression against them.  But I CAN choose to forgive and I CAN choose to ask for forgiveness.  Those are within my control.
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#28
We have stories if saints like St Maria gorretti who offered a flower to get attacker for each time she was stabbed. 

I guess that's the difference between me, and a saint.

Our lord forgives those who confess but he still loves souls even when they are in mortal sin and awaits their repentance

For me, the best I can do is to pray for the conversion of the msn who attacked me and to try to see him as God sees him.  Sill not sure about the flowers
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#29
(06-17-2014, 03:58 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: So, to sum up:  unless forgiveness is asked for, praying that your offender repents is the only thing that "forgiveness" can possibly mean and that makes sense to me.

I think the key is to not hold on to hatred in one's heart. I think that has to be a conscious choice. I have often heard victims speak about how they only found peace when they forgave their attacker. This only makes sense to a committed Christian, thus the peace is a gift from God. One must never forget that our existence as Christians is within the context of eternity, where our life on earth is but a brief test of love.

The innocent baby who grows into an angry child and becomes a murderous monster later in life will have to make an account of all the evil he chooses to commit. But as Christians, we must forgive from the heart, which means to not hold on to hate. I'm sure it was no fun to watch one's father or mother or child be used as a human torch during the early Christian persecutions.

But one thing is clear. God will make things right. As St. Paul explains: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . .If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord."

God's justice is terrible; as described in St. Faustina's vision of hell. And again, hell is a self-inflicted consequence.
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#30
(06-17-2014, 07:27 PM)Gabriel Serafin Wrote:
(06-17-2014, 03:58 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: So, to sum up:  unless forgiveness is asked for, praying that your offender repents is the only thing that "forgiveness" can possibly mean and that makes sense to me.

I think the key is to not hold on to hatred in one's heart. I think that has to be a conscious choice. I have often heard victims speak about how they only found peace when they forgave their attacker. This only makes sense to a committed Christian, thus the peace is a gift from God. One must never forget that our existence as Christians is within the context of eternity, where our life on earth is but a brief test of love.

The innocent baby who grows into an angry child and becomes a murderous monster later in life will have to make an account of all the evil he chooses to commit. But as Christians, we must forgive from the heart, which means to not hold on to hate. I'm sure it was no fun to watch one's father or mother or child be used as a human torch during the early Christian persecutions.

But one thing is clear. God will make things right. As St. Paul explains: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . .If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord."

God's justice is terrible; as described in St. Faustina's vision of hell. And again, hell is a self-inflicted consequence.

We're pretty much saying the same thing in that to love is to will the good of another, and what would be the good for someone malicious is for them to repent. So praying for their repentance is, in fact, loving them, or "not hating" them. If by "hate" you mean the emotion rather than willing evil on another, then I don't think we have complete control -- or much control at all -- over such things. If God grants consolation in the form of peace for someone's forgiving another by willing that the other repents, it's all to the good, but, as you said, it's a gift, not something that can be demanded or expected, and I couldn't hold it against a fellow Christian or accuse him of not being "forgiving" if he felt all sorts of bad things while still praying that the offender repents as opposed to wishing he'd burn in Hell forever, etc.

You wrote, "I have often heard victims speak about how they only found peace when they forgave their attacker. This only makes sense to a committed Christian, thus the peace is a gift from God," but I've heard secular types talk about forgiveness bringing peace in the same way. I wonder if by "I forgive" they're meaning "I don't dwell on it anymore" or "I don't invest mental energy in thinking about it" or "I've become very good at distracting myself" or some such. I've heard people say, "I had to forgive him -- for myself." But that has nothing to do with willing the good of our enemies, which is what "forgiving" the unrepentant seems to be. But I wonder what secular types mean by such a thing: "I had to forgive him -- for myself." I mean, I wonder if it has anything to do with "forgiveness" rather than "moving on" emotionally. Or maybe repression. Eh, who knows? LOL

 
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