Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

2/22/2007

Genuinely Forgive Sin

Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) wrote of forgiveness,

The greatest gift you can give is to genuinely forgive sin committed against you. Augustine of HippoIt is a comparatively small thing to wish someone well or to do good to someone who hasn’t hurt you. But it is much greater to love and wish your enemy well. When you have the opportunity, do good to those who want to make you suffer and do you harm. For in doing this you obey God’s command: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute you,” This is a frame of mind that only the children of God can reach.

All believers should strive after it, by prayer earnestly struggling with themselves to attain this standard. However, such a high degree of goodness should strive after it, by prayer earnestly struggling with themselves to attain this standard. However, such a high degree of goodness can hardly be met by all the people who pray. “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In view of all this those who don’t yet love their enemies can fulfill this command when they forgive someone from the heart who has sinned against them.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your Heavenly Father will Also forgive you.
—Jesus (Matthew 6:14)

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4 Comments:

  • At 2/22/2007 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you for telling us HOW to forgive! We have all heard over and over again from our pastors that we should forgive; that we have to forgive. We are told to "forgive and let it go" because that is what the Lord told us to do.

    We are not told that forgiveness is hard work. Though forgiveness can at times be instantaneous, some situations require a lot of prayer and a lot of time. It can take years and a million prayers before we are able to genuinely forgive a sin against us.

    But, that's ok. As long as we continue to pray and strive to forgive God will work with us and through us to obtain our goal of genuine forgiveness.

    The hardest part is not falling into the quick fix of vengeance. That's when we need to pray harder for God's assistance. In time, it will come. Genuine Forgiveness.

     
  • At 2/22/2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Celeste said…

    "Bless my enemies(insert name), change me."
    That's the quickest way to help me ward off the desire for vengence...I have come to realize that me forgiving someone is my choice. I kept waiting to feel something different towards them but that doesn't always happen. I guess that's when we keep on praying for God to change us...

     
  • At 2/22/2007 1:28 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Related to this post is another at Father Steve's Blog in which he talks about an Eastern Orthodox practice they did at St. Michael's last night. It's a Rite of Mutual Forgiveness. I am deeply intrigued. Here is what he has to say: Mutual Forgiveness.

     
  • At 2/23/2007 8:23 PM, Blogger John O said…

    This blog brought to my mind a clearer understanding of the often used phrase "'tis better to (for?)give than to receive". Thank you for this much needed (by me) blog. The Fr. Steve's Blog on MUTUAL FORGIVENESS says much in few words.

     

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