Of course there are cases when the suffering other people cause us is due to a real fault on their part.
The proper attitude then is not understanding in accepting differences, but something more demanding and difficult: forgiveness.
Modern culture doesn't rate forgiveness very highly. More often it justifies resentment and revenge. But does that reduce the amount of evil in the world? The only way to diminish the suffering that burdens mankind is by forgiveness....
It bears repeating...that unless we understand the importance of forgiveness and practice it in our relations with others, we will never achieve inner freedom but will always be prisoners of our own bitterness.
When we refuse to forgive someone for harm done to us, we are adding another wrong to the first. That solves nothing at all. We are increasing the quantity of evil in the world, which has quite enough as it is. Let us not join in the propagation of evil. Saint Paul tells us, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Father Jacques Philippe. "Forgiveness." from Interior Freedom New York, NY: Scepter Press 2010).
Reprinted with permission of Scepter Press.
Father Jacques Philippe is a spiritual director, retreat master and the founder of the Community of the Beatitudes. He is the author of Priestly Fatherhood: Treasure in Earthen Vessels, The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes, Called to Life, Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness and Trust, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart, Interior Freedom, Fire & Light, Time for God, Thirsting for Prayer, and In the School of the Holy Spirit. His website can be found here.Copyright © 2010 Scepter Press
back to top