Hello, my name is Kaitlyn, and I struggle to forgive and forget. There. I said it.
Several years ago, this wasn’t as much of an issue for me. I remember someone telling me awhile back that she was able to forgive a deep hurt, but that she could not forget. At the time, I didn’t understand how that was possible. How could that be true forgiveness?
Now I totally get it. It’s human forgiveness.
Why do I get it now? Well, I’ve had a little more life experience, I guess. I’ve learned that sometimes, a hurt can be an ongoing thing. Sometimes, you’ll never get a formal apology from someone.
Sometimes, you can’t completely erase a hurt away.
But God can.
My flawed human forgiveness tends to work about as well as an erasable pen. You know… the ridiculous pens that are supposed to be erasable, but they really only remove some of the ink. After you erase, you can still read all of the words on the page.
After I forgive, I can still recall all of the words.
I blame my memory. I have a really, really good memory. I can remember things that people said to me back in grade school.
So when I realize that someone has hurt me, and when I extend forgiveness and try not to hold a grudge, I am erasing ink from the page, sure. But the grooves in the paper are still there.
Enter Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy works quite differently.
Here’s how God forgives…
Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they may become white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
This is how God forgives us when we turn to Him and truly repent!
When we repent, Jesus wipes the slate clean and we begin again. He will not hold a grudge against us when we are truly sorry!
In other words, Jesus bypasses erasable pen and goes straight for the spiritual Wite-Out.
We are called to forgive others in the same way. Jesus calls us to forgive those who trespass against us…and we need to do this even when they don’t apologize.
We can look at the example Jesus gave us as he hung dying on the cross…
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Jesus forgave his persecutors as they were persecuting him!
Sometimes in our human condition, complete and total forgiveness is just not possible – not possible without God’s help, that is! Not possible without Divine Mercy!
As a priest explained to me once, when someone punches you on the arm, it’s going to hurt. Some things are just going to hurt. Some people are just going to hurt us.
But we can look at these people and at these circumstances through a lens of Divine Mercy. We can pray to God for them, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”
And that my friends, is some good spiritual Wite-Out.
P.S. God loves you and He is merciful! So there’s no need to fear the sacrament of Reconciliation. Pass it on…
Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason