Forgiveness

Today Holy Week starts, the most significant week in the Christian understanding of the human condition and the understanding in it of how we can be happy. Central to that, and to this week, is the place of forgiveness and reconciliation. Somehow it seems crucial to becoming fully human as this week’s story reveals:

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but forgiveness changes the way we remember.

When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events over which we had no control. The only people we can really change are ourselves.

Forgiving is first and foremost the healing of our own hearts.

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

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