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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

For all the faults

 

For all the faults, though ne’er so grievous, borne
Upon my soul so perfect made but marred
By misdirected hopes and fears so long,
My prayer attend, O Lord, with mercy sworn.
Thou  know’st of whom I speak so no retard,
By extra words, impede or do aught wrong.
Thy faithful servant all her life has loved
And honoured Thee in heart and mind and deed ;
But now lies low, so hurt by fate ungloved ;
And of thy healing hand so much doth yearn.
Pour out on her what things may do her good ;
What goodness that might be is no concern.
If we were best in wisdom to decide,
What need had we to tame and quench our pride?

[For Sr T]

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Most merciful and loving Father,
We beseech Thee most humbly, even with all our hearts,
To pour out upon our enemies with bountiful hands
whatsoever things Thou knowest may do them good.

And chiefly a sound and uncorrupt mind,
Where-through they may know Thee and love Thee
in true charity and with their whole heart,
And love us, Thy children, for Thy sake.

Let not their first hating of us turn to their harm,
Seeing that we cannot do them good for want of ability.

Lord, we desire their amendment and our own.
Separate them not from us by punishing them,
But join and knot them to us by Thy favourable dealings with them.

And, seeing we be all ordained to be citizens of the one everlasting city,
Let us begin to enter into that way here already by mutual love,
Which may bring us right forth thither.

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Any number of people I have spoken to have complaints about other people in their lives.  And so often they also mention that they have forgiven  a particular offender (or offenders).  And yet it is they who first mention the fact that they have these complaints ; and they who first mention that they have forgiven.

But this is strange, because the act of true forgiveness involves a profound renunciation of the complaint.  The one who forgives puts the clock back right to the point where it is as if the offence had never been committed.  So, therefore, no need arises for it ever to be mentioned again.

So, are we able to forgive truly?  Isn’t there always a residue of resentment?

It seems to me that often a person whom we have ‘forgiven’ we actually put on probation ; and we watch for best behaviour, ready to call past offences to mind.

Often, too, one person will ‘forgive’ another while actually declaring that the offender ‘didn’t really do wrong ; it’s just that I was sensitive at the time’.  And often, too, this is just a cop-out ; the offender really did wrong, but the ‘forgiver’ simply does not want the hassle of confronting him.  Better the quiet life ; best pretend that no wrong was done.  But this is not true forgiveness ; for, if offence was felt, then a wrong was really done.

And then there those occasions when we make excuses for an offender, “He didn’t intend to hurt me as much as he did, so there’s nothing to forgive.”  Ah, yes, but a wrong was done, so there is something to forgive.

The truth is that true forgiveness is a difficult thing to do.  Between friends, it makes demands on both the one who offended and on the offender.  And yet, we must forgive ; for do we not pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”?  In other words, we shall be forgiven in proportion as we ourselves forgive.

Forgiveness

Most merciful and loving Father,
We beseech Thee most humbly, even with all our hearts,
To pour out upon our enemies with bountiful hands
whatsoever things Thou knowest may do them good.

And chiefly a sound and uncorrupt mind,
Where-through they may know Thee and love Thee
in true charity and with their whole heart,
And love us, Thy children, for Thy sake.

Let not their first hating of us turn to their harm,
Seeing that we cannot do them good for want of ability.

Lord, we desire their amendment and our own.
Separate them not from us by punishing them,
But join and knot them to us by Thy favourable dealings with them.

And, seeing we be all ordained to be citizens of the one everlasting city,
Let us begin to enter into that way here already by mutual love,
Which may bring us right forth thither.

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How well you knew me, faithful friend,
Before you even knew
Precisely what my conscience bore
And how my heart did flag.

No word you spoke before your eye
Had pierced my aching soul ;
The sword of truth had made its mark,
And this you knew full well.

What fool I was to make believe
My secret could be hid
From one so great with second sight ;
Who sensed the hurt I did.

As we embraced I, too, did feel,
But in a different way ;
I felt that power flow to me,
Your gift that made me graced.

Forgiveness, sure, bestowed on me,
It undeserved and kind ;
And more, much more, received I then ;
For love undoes all sin.

In silence (for no word of mine
Would you allow intrude)
We ate our meal in memory
Of Him who set me free.

And even then your heart let slip
A truth I’d never guessed :
You too had known the pain I bore ;
Your ransom, too, had been full-paid.

Jamie MacNab

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