Saturday, October 14, 2006
A forgiveness that's out of this world
The ability to forgive and forget has never been a strong suit of mine. It's been said with some justification that I suffer from Irish Alzheimer's: Forgetting everything but the grudges.
There are shrinks who maintain forgiveness is essential for one's emotional stability. They believe it infinitely preferable to obsessing over the past offenses, be they real or imagined, of other people.
More importantly, forgiveness is mandated by Christianity. Jesus taught his followers to forgive. When Peter asked Him how many times he should excuse his brother, the answer was seventy times seven.
Pardoning others is also an element of religions other than Christianity. Yet rarely do we see as dramatic a display of that virtue as we did in the aftermath of the killing of little girls last week in a Pennsylvania Amish schoolhouse.
The murderer's widow was invited to the children's funerals. The Christian Science Monitor quoted an Amish woman: "It's our Christian love to show to her we have not any grudges against her."..........................................
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