Forgiveness

Broken and Restored Relationship “Practicing forgiveness can produce dramatic transformations in our imaginations and the psychological, social and political horizons of our lives.” – L. Gregory Jones

Forgiveness is a central theme in the teachings of Jesus.  It sounds simple, but it is often very hard.  Sometimes courage is required to forgive in day-to-day conflicts, and in the face of abuse or evil, we are left wondering both how to forgive and what difference it can make. The practice of forgiveness is not simply a one-time action or an isolated feeling or thought. Forgiveness involves us in a whole way of life that is shaped by an ever-deepening friendship with God and with other people. The central goal of this practice is not so much to deal with guilt as to reconcile, to restore communion – with God, with one another, and with the whole creation. L. Gregory Jones writes: “Forgiveness works through our ongoing willingness to give up certain claims against one another, . . . and to give gifts of ourselves by making innovative gestures that offer a future not bound by the past.” What part might forgiveness play in breaking cycles of abuse and violence in our families and communities?  How can we be a part of growing a community of forgiveness? To read more about forgiveness as a spiritual practice, click here.  An excellent book for further exploration of forgiveness (especially in complex situations of abuse) is Flora Wuellner’s  Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey.

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