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  • Sarah Raad

Forgetfulness

I thank God for the gift of forgetfulness – for it is in forgetting that I can truly forgive…

Christ on the Cross (Eugene Delacroix)

Christ – God Himself – asks us to forgive those who trespass against us, who He calls our “debtors” in the original text of the Our Father as recorded in the Gospel…


“Pray then like this (Christ told us): ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” (John 6:9-13).


I have reflected frequently on this idea of forgiveness because I attribute the fruit of my conversion to the decision that I made to forgive – myself, my husband, my family and my friends – many years ago. It was a decision that I made many years prior to the miracle of my conversion, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that – though it was not my ultimate ambition at the time of that forgiveness to convert – the love I bear my Beloved now, is the direct result of that action of forgiveness many years ago!


Forgiveness is a strange concept. It is so strange in fact, that I have no doubt at all that forgiveness – and the human ability to forgive – is nothing short of a miracle. It must surely be miraculous that a human being could bring themselves to a state where they could decide that they wish to forgive an enemy or one who has caused them harm. And this in itself is a powerful gift from God. After all, when people have forgiven those who have harmed them in public cases – like the case of Pope Saint John Paul II, who forgave the man who shot him and attempted to kill him, or the Abdulla family who forgave the man who killed their children – the world marvels!

They say that true forgiveness does not require a person to forget the wrong done unto them. Instead, in order to forgive, a person is required only to make a decision – an act of the WILL – to knowingly seek to forgive, to knowingly refuse to consider the sin committed by that person.

And I have been reflecting on that knowing decision to refuse to consider a committed sin as I have reflected on this idea of forgiveness and the associated decisions relating to forgetfulness…


You see, when a person chooses to forgive, though they are not compelled to forget the sin (or the “debt” – to use the words of Christ in the Gospel, it is upon this idea of forgetfulness that my mind has turned over the last few days…


You see, while it may be possible to forgive a sin without forgetting it, it is certainly more difficult to forgive the things that we chose to focus on and remember.


After all, I could forgive my husband any sin or debt against me, but if I continue to relive, recount and recall that debt and that sin, then it becomes very difficult for me to continue to live with my husband in a spirit of Christian Charity with TRUE love and forgiveness in my heart.


And this is what I have been focusing on. You see, Christ is God made Man, and as God made Man, He forgave – PERFECTLY – even while in the process of bearing the debt and the weight of sin on His own Precious Body in in His own Precious Blood.


Christ literally called out for forgiveness for us – we who crucified Him – while He was being crucified…


“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34).


And as I recall this fact, I marvel… For I struggle to forgive a wrong if I can remember it. And God – Creator of the Universe and King of Endless Glory – forgives not only while remembering the wrong, but while experiencing it…


And bearing this in mind, I thank God for the gift of forgetfulness – for it is in forgetting that I can truly forgive…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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