“Four Words about Forgiveness: Alienation, Exclusion, Reconciliation, and Peace-making”
Forgiveness is a spiritual practice and liberative action. If you’re having a hard time forgiving someone who has hurt you or someone you care about, perhaps you need to work on this area of your spiritual journey with God and with the one who has offended you.
Forgiveness is about peace-making; like forgiveness, peace-making is a process that in its early phase may result in alienation, loneliness, disappointment, exclusion, and even pain. Nonetheless, healing may call us to endure pain and suffering, and resist the easy way out.
The “vindictive spirit” rejects the cathartic power of forgiveness and peace-making.The “retaliation impulse” says I don’t need forgiveness–the one who has wronged me needs it. The “self-justification tendency” resists the spirit of inclusion and embrace in the various phases of forgiveness and in the process of forgiving one another.
Forgiveness is a radical call to die to oneself and one’s ego in order that one may reconcile with oneself (what we may call “self-care”) and with the guilty party toward a better and more beautiful community. It has called us to reconnect, to dream again, to reconcile, and to love again.