My ultimate and remarkable seventy-eighth time of forgiveness

"My ultimate and remarkable seventy-eighth time of forgiveness" by Pam Spano (

Copyright 2017 Pam Spano (

Forgiveness is probably the hardest thing we are called to do by Christ. “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Sometimes I think I’m on my ultimate and remarkable seventy-eighth time of forgiveness.

Years ago, I was relating an incident with my mother to my husband. I began to cry uncontrollably. When I was finished, I got into the shower and when I got out, I had no memory of what I had just told him. To this day, I only remember telling my husband something, but not exactly what it was.

Another time I was walking down the street when I spotted a priest ahead of me from our former parish. My husband and I had left the parish because of this man. It was an ugly set of circumstances. I stopped and watched the priest walk down the street. This man had had his own personal trials. I felt an acute sorrow for him. It crept up on me and replaced the anger I still held for him. I literally ran home. When I got there, I blurted out to my husband, “I’ve forgiven Father ______.”

My husband only looked a little surprised and asked me what happened. It was hard to put it into words, as it is now. The whole thing seemed like something out of a movie and in slow motion!

Recently I encountered someone who I have held a grudge against for many years. In my encounter with this man, he asked about my husband and I and I told him we were well. I inquired about him and he said he was “better.” In that moment, I realized he had been quite ill. A friend had told me about his numerous health problems, but I couldn’t remember what had happened. I lamely mumbled something like, “glad to hear it,” and walked away.

Later that day, I replayed our little exchange in my head. Something took place there and I didn’t know what it was. I felt differently about him. My blood pressure didn’t rise as I thought about him. The memories of those circumstances were still there, but again, the only word I can use is that they were “different.” I kept asking myself, “What happened?”

Forgiveness is what happened. I felt like a piece of me had slipped away. I hadn’t lost anything good. The anger I felt for this man was gone. There’s an empty space there that will have to be filled. Compassion might be what’s needed to fill that space.

As I get deeper into my 35th year of conversion to the Catholic faith, this forgiveness thing has been like a package that I open, only to find another package.

Though I feel that I’ve experienced my ultimate and remarkable seventy-eighth time of forgiveness, I have a feeling there will be seventy-eight more.

"My ultimate and remarkable seventy-eighth time of forgiveness" by Pam Spano (

Copyright 2017 Pam Spano (

How have you experienced forgiveness? Was it remarkable like a bolt of lightning or was it subtle and something you had to think about?

Copyright 2017 Pam Spano


About Author

I converted to the Catholic faith as an adult over 30 years ago. My conversion story started when I sarcastically said to my Catholic boyfriend at the time, "I suppose if we were to get married, you would want me to convert." He thought for a moment and said, "Well, I am worried about your soul." And so the journey began ...


  1. For years I would go to church and then I would stop. I was raised Baptist, then I went to the Pentecostal Church. I tried Methodist , United Pentecostal and then there was non denominational . I stopped again. I started going to mass with friends and the by myself and I felt so guilty when I would miss. God was telling me I was HOME. I went through RCIA and for the 1st time I know I am HOME! I am Catholic , and I pray every day to become stronger in my faith. Oh, I have not stopped and I very seldom is mass.

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