The WORD in Other Word by Fr Jose Caballes SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday 3rd Week of Lent
Daniel 3:25, 34-43 Matthew 18:21-35
Billy Graham said he believed that 75% of patients in hospitals would be made whole if they would forgive (Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker‘s Quote Book.p. 153). Indeed, forgiveness could be a powerful reliever of stress and mental ailment if it is properly understood.
Peter thought that he was being generous when he said to the Lord regarding the number of times one should forgive: “As many as seven times? But the Lord retorted, “… seventy—seven times,” practically alluding to unlimited forgiveness.
Why is it so difficult to forgive? It is because some think of forgiveness as based on emotions: As long as I still feel the hurt, I won‘t forgive. For some, memory is a factor in forgiveness: As long as I still remember what you did to me, I won‘t forgive.
As long as forgiveness is built on these two, it would be very difficult to forgive. Healing and forgetting will never happen if forgiveness does not come from the “heart”. In other words, forgiveness is a matter of the “will.” You have to will to forgive even when you are still feeling hurt and still remembering. You have to choose to forgive. Only then can healing and forgetting start.
Forgiveness becomes easier when it becomes a habit. That‘s why it is called a virtue. Start small. Constantly practice forgiveness in small offenses and build on this experience to level up your capacity to forgive bigger offenses. Of course, all this requires always the help of God‘s grace and the loving mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.