Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

That’s a great quote from Oscar Wilde. Another good one on forgiveness:

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis Smedes

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, today’s reading tells a story about forgiveness. It’s Mathew 18:21-35 and Fr. Ed didn’t think that this particular verse is so much about forgiveness as it is compassion.

I agree.

Really, that’s all forgiveness is. The ability to have compassion enough for someone to try and understand the situation through their eyes. And then when you can’t, forgetting about it and loving them anyway. I know you’re thinking, “Whatever man, I’m not Christ. You don’t understand what ‘so and so’ did to me.”

You’re right I don’t. But let me say this. If that person did what you think they did and hasn’t approached you about it yet, YOU are the only one being effected by not forgiving them. The weight is beared by you alone. And you are alone. Until you embrace compassion for that person and hand the situation to Christ for Him to deal with, you are walking alone. Without Love there is no forgiveness and without forgiveness, there is no Love.

I know there is someone in your life you have not forgiven. There is in mine. Forgive them, right now. In your heart forgive them. Next time you see them, you don’t have to tell them you forgive them. Just shake their hand and look them in the eye. They’ll know. Give them a hug. They’ll know. Maybe even just say hello. They’ll know.

One more thing. Forgive yourself.

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