Have you ever questioned whether you’ve given too many chances? I have sometimes questioned if I forgive people too often. I like to see the good and it oftentimes ends up leaving me hurt, disappointed, and alone. There is a difference, though, between forgiving and forgetting. As humans, we oftentimes would rather forget than forgive. In fact, it is a natural response that our bodies take after trauma. Our brains push those experiences out to the point that we don’t remember. If our bodies don’t take care of it for us, we take steps to do so- whether that be substance abuse or just actively trying to stay busy and loud to drown out the pain.
God doesn’t call us to a life of forgetting, though. He calls us to forgiveness. This is not so easy. Forgiveness is a process. It doesn’t usually happen overnight. For deep cuts, it is a decision we have to make every morning. It is something we can’t do on our own. When forgiveness isn’t easy we are called to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit can provide a peace much greater than any forgetfulness ever will.
How do we know how to forgive? We look to our Creator. We learn from our Creator. Our God is a God of forgiveness. He is willing to offer us this forgiveness as often as we can ask for it. When we receive the graces from the Sacrament of Confession, we are able to imitate our Father and offer that same loving forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Our Father is inviting you into His loving forgiveness, so that you can share that love with your neighbors.