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

Pam Spano converted to the Catholic faith as an adult over 30 years ago. Her conversion story started when she sarcastically said to her 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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