Tag Archives: Gods_forgiveness

The mystery of forgiveness

“I believe with all my heart that the mystery of forgiveness is the entire Gospel.  When you ‘get’ forgiveness, you get it.  We use the phrase ‘falling in love.’ I think forgiveness is almost the same thing.  It is a mystery we fall into: the mystery is God.  God forgives all for being imperfect, broken, and poor.  When we know God, we meet  a lover, not a dictator. God is never found to be an abusive father or a tyrannical mother, but always a lover who  is more than we dared hope for.  How different than the ‘account manager’ that most  people seem to worship.”  Fr Richard Rohr

Bird Woman Falls, Glacier National Park

On the way to Sperry Glacier


Forgiveness 2

I am always amazed at how much lighter and freer I feel, spiritually and emotionally, when I first let go of, then actually forgive, those who have hurt me in one way or another. I find there is a real danger when I let the negative energy of “my hurt” take hold of me and control my actions. Henri Nouwen puts it very well in his book, “Bread for the Journey:

“To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation….As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us, or worse, pull them as a heavy load.  The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God.”  

Chimney Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Hells Canyon sunrise


God’s Covenant with us

As I look at the secular law of contracts, and compare it to God’s gift of covenant, I am astounded at the difference.  If we entered a contract, and one party breaks it, the contract ends. Penalties are imposed and the parties go their separate ways, unhealed and unforgiven.  God’s covenant with us is from God alone to us; we  do not, did not, choose to enter into it. God made the decision to enter into this partnership with us, His creation, His people. We still must face His justice if we break the covenant, but God does not revoke it and walk away.  His unconditional love, His forgiveness and grace remain ever present for us when we repent and turn back to Him.  As Paul writes in Romans 8:39. “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”



The Path to Gratitude

I love what Henri Nouwen writes about our allowing God to transform our past.  When we let him, God does break into our lives to re-create hope and aliveness.

“Jesus’ own suffering was brought upon him by the forces of darkness. Still he speaks about his suffering and death as his way to glory.
It is very hard to keep bringing all of our past under the light of gratitude.  There are so many things about which we feel guilt and shame, so many things we simply wish had never happened. But each time we have the courage to look at “the all of it” and to look at it as God looks at it, our guilt becomes a happy guilt and our shame a happy shame because they have brought us to a deeper recognition of God’s mercy, a stronger conviction of God’s guidance, and a more radical commitment to a life in God’s service.

Once all of past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim good news to others.  Just as Peter’s denials didn’t paralyze him but, once forgiven, became a new source of his faithfulness, so can all our failures and betrayals be transformed into gratitude and enable us to become messengers of hope.”