"Real forgiveness is often a long process sometimes requiring a search for justice, an expression of anger or hurt, or an acknowledgement of a sin which has been committed."
Forgiveness, real forgiveness, may not happen overnight. Sometimes we may think we've forgiven and then we're reminded of the old wound and it rears up again. That wave of bitterness and anger comes back...we go there, again. I like this from Pray-As-You-Go because it recognizes that there may be steps to forgiveness. It's not unreasonable to expect that someone deeply hurt may need to seek justice and an acknowledgment of the sin. We may want an apology, too, but what if that never comes? That is when we prayerfully remember the times that we have done wrong and need forgiveness ourselves. We can recall the words of Jesus in today's Gospel, "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you." (Matthew 6:14)
Seeking forgiveness and forgiving are beautiful threads weaving through the fabric of Lent for me this year. We are on both sides of the equation, certainly, and need to act from both sides. But we also need to realize it may not happen as instantly as we'd like. The desire deep within us to want to forgive and be forgiven is a huge start. Love, heidi