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THE ART OF FORGIVNESS
FORGIVENESS IN RELIGION
FORGIVENESS IS DEVINE
The ability to forgive can be a hard decision to make.When wronged or harmed by someone forgiveness can take a long time to come.You must overcome the inflection of pain, burden of hatred, and the power to open your heart.
For centuries forgiveness has belonged to religion.It was expressed in prayer and in meditation.Although its practice varies it is embedded in all our religious text.
Muslims pray five times a day,asking for forgiveness.During the month of Ramada, there is a holiday called"The Night of Power." The Muslims stay awake all night praying for forgiveness so that the scroll of their actions will be cleansed of their sins.
The day of Atonement,the most important Jewish holiday, is centered on forgiveness. By its long attachment to the Catholic sacrament of penance,forgiveness has become synonymous with hushed and private whispers exchanged between priest and sinner.
For Christians,Christ's final words on the cross,asking God to forgive those who crucified Him,are the defining text.Forgiveness is to make new,not to patch nor to repair but to make new again.
Once an uniquely religious word forgiveness is changing and there is no consensus about what it is and what it is becoming.Is forgiveness rooted among those who don't hold to a personal God? Yes, we can forgive without God. Yes,most of us have a moral compass inside us. There's tremendous conflict when it comes to forgiveness. For some people it must be unconditional, but there are conditions:
Is there a line where it is unjustified to forgive or even to say "its O.K." ? Forgiveness allows you to unburden yourself of pain,suffering and rage. Genuine forgiveness means that the one who was suppose to be the enemy is no longer such. The power of forgiveness is real,never more so when it struggles with the unforgivable.Whether in the killing fields of Rwanda or the small court room of Oregon.
Gary Ridgeway confessed to the killing of 90 woman over a 20 year period.Pleading guilty and receiving life in prison without parole. In the court room he listen to family members,in passive to their rage and their lost. One family member could not forgive him and said she would leave it up to God.Another said he didn't hate Ridgeway and that he forgave him for this is what he felt God would want him to do. It was at this point that Ridgeway shed tears and showed some emotions.How can two people,experiencing the same type of lost have two different ways of dealing with the issue?
In his last hours, forgiveness pressed on in Merill Long. He had a secret that tormented him. He shot and unarmed man while he was an officer in World War 2, Germany.He pleads for God's forgiveness everyday.
The powers, the limitation and the dangers of forgiveness have been debated over the centuries. Whats new is that forgiveness is everywhere, the new forgiveness is immodest and sweeping in with its reach. It has left the pulpit and is at the heart of the therapy hour and the 12 step movement across the world.
Forgiveness is a profound transaction involving individuals that shouldn't be blurred. Forgiveness knows no boundaries of time or place It is an ache in the human heart that has endured. The need for forgiveness is that essential. Forgiveness can be peaceful and serene. Forgiveness can be absolute.
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