Forgiveness is an act of the will. In order to forgive others we must first seek God’s will. God never runs out of mercy. The doors to forgiveness never close. We must know that we are not alone.
In the Our Father we pray, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we want God to forgive our sins, we have to be able to forgive the sins of others, especially when those sins have hurt us. We cannot pray the Our Father sincerely without looking at our own faults, our own sins. Yes, we want God to forgive our sins, but we also pray that He forgive the sins of everyone around us.
There is a cloud of emotions that we have to muddle through in order for our will to conform to God’s will.
Anger is a power awareness and usually a first response during or after a confrontation with another person. Anger in itself is not a sin. “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). We still have a responsibility to manage our anger and not let it get out of control.
It takes time to process our reactions, especially anger. We want justice and we want it right now. Rather, we leave the judgment to God, as we see in Romans 12:19, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord.”
Acting impulsively on our emotions can do more harm than good. Maybe there are times when you think about an encounter you had with someone and you wish it had never happened. It would be nice if things were back to normal, but that doesn’t always happen, at least not right away.
When you allow the negative conscious to subside, that’s the time to place it in the hands of our Lord. If you truly want forgiveness to take place, it also must be accompanied by healing. But healing will take time, especially when someone really hurt you.
You aren’t sure how you’re supposed to react during this process. Happiness [and peace] versus anger. We do not have full control over our emotions, but we can influence them, rather than have them dictate the outcome.
If it becomes difficult to control emotions, such as anger or hatred, I strongly encourage you to go to Reconciliation. Healing takes place within the Sacraments. Keep in mind you don’t have to necessarily like the person that hurt you, but you are called to love them just as Christ loves you. To forgiven them as Christ forgives you. The next time you’re around the person that hurt you, you’re may not be sure how to react, and those feelings of anger may return. Frequent Reconciliation often. Forgiveness is a process. It will take time.
Over time a hurtful memory can re-surface. That sense of anger can be trigged. Instead, use this time to thank God for His forgiveness. His mercy endures forever.
Prayer is so important, especially the Rosary, because in the Rosary we pray the Our Father asking for forgiveness, we ask the Blessed Mother for her intersession, and Our Redeemer, Christ our Lord is at the center of the prayer.
You cannot be assured that the person in question will repent or is even aware that they hurt you. What you can do, and should do, is pray that the person will repent and God will be merciful. As you pray for him or her you will find peace. Anger may surface from time to time, but the more you sincerely pray for God to have mercy on that person the more you’ll find peace within.
Jesus is merciful and forgives you of your sins. Pray He will have the same mercy on everyone who has hurt you. Forgiveness is divine.
by John Connor