A Heart Beat Away From Judgment: Are You Ready?
(06-17-2014, 09:58 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(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


Exactly.  I think people in general are very confused as to what forgiveness actually is.  Forgiveness is not "moving on."  I will probably never "move on."  But I can pray for my attacker to have a conversion of heart, even though I think he should be in prison for the rest of his earthly life.
(06-17-2014, 10:19 AM)Old Salt Wrote:
(06-17-2014, 08:41 AM)Clare Brigid Wrote:
(06-17-2014, 08:25 AM)Tantum Ergo Sacramentum Wrote: There are times when I want to forgive and try to, but then when dealing with the person again, those feelings of hurt come back. Have I truly forgiven them? Even though deep within me, I want to and desire to forgive them?

Sin is in the will, not the feelings.  This is why St. Paul writes, "Be angry, but sin not."

Sir, I love your consise and accurate answers and comments.

What seems humanly impossible, is possible with God's grace. Maria Goretti is a good example of Christian forgiveness. When a soul has reached a level of sanctity where it lives for God and God alone, then all pain and suffering is united to the sufferings of Christ for the salvation of others. Thus the pain and injustice experienced by a holy soul is not wasted in bitterness but rather transformed into redemptive suffering for the salvation of others.

The more one dies to one's self, the greater the solidarity with Christ. Thus the greater one loves God the more perfectly united they will be with Christ on the cross.

St. Faustina described a vision she had of three different groups and how they dealt with he cross. First she saw the Jesus nailed to the cross. When He had hung on it for a while, she saw a multitude of souls crucified and hanging on the cross like Him. Then she saw a second multitude of souls and finally a third group. The second multitude were not nailed to their crosses but were holding them firmly in their hands. The third multitude were neither nailed to their crosses nor holding them firmly in their hands, but were dragging their crosses behind them and were discontent.

Jesus then said to her: " Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in pain and contempt will also bear less resemblence to Me in glory." Among the crucified souls, the most numerous were those of the clergy.
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