Thursday, May 31, 2007

This isn't about writing

This has been on my mind the past couple of days or so; maybe someone can help me out. Forgiveness is pretty integral to the Christian faith. Sort like, we're commanded to do it. Which sounds sorta tough at first, but, well, when you've been forgiven for so much, it's not so hard. Or it is, you just have a little help. So I was just wondering, how do non spiritual people forgive? I feel like it's got to be so much more self gratifying to keep that victim status and that hurt. Because forgiveness is effort, and it doesn't guarantee that the situation will get better or anything. Is it worth the supposed "feeling better" afterwards for you? How the heck do you get motivated? For the things that have really needed forgiveness in my life, I've had to look outside of myself.

What's outside of yourself that can help?

EDITED: Changed one word after Devon's post to try and show my emphasis on faith, not organized religion. I'm definitely aware of the fact that non spiritual people forgive and are good at it. It impresses me, because I'm not sure I could do it sometimes. Thanks for commenting, Devon!


Devon Ellington said...

You don't need to be embedded in an organized religion to understand the concept of forgiveness.

In fact, the people I know who are NOT so embedded are much more likely to forgive because they understand the interconnection of the world, in spite of different opinions, and they're not trying to please some sort of hierarchy. They understand what actual forgiveness IS, rather than just talking about it once a week and then going off and doing whatever the heck they please all over again.

Bob said...

One trouble I have with Devon's claim is that, while certainly the world is full of people who flout their faith, it at least gives us a standard by which to live and to be judged. Of course, history is replete with pious pagans who live an essentially upright life. But for every person of alleged faith who nevertheless does "whatever they heck they please," there are doubtlessly a handful of people who claim to "understand the interconnection of the world" but live however the heck they please as well.

To have a standard of faith for your actions is not the same as trying to "please some sort of hierarchy." The Pope recently reminded us that "God is love," about which my priest, Msgr. M. Schmitz, made the following observation: "Love will be the measure of our lives, because it is the very essence of God to Whose image we have been created. The more we love, the more we make His image in us become a lived reality and the more we prepare for the eternal loving union with Him."

He continued... "Love and charity are an attitude of a whole life, based on Divine grace and leading to the realization of God’s commandments: 'He who loves me, keeps my commandments.' Not sighs
and exclamations, NOT WORDS and principles, BUT DEEDS and works SHOW OUR LOVE to God. The virtue of Charity, infused into our souls in the moment of baptism together with Faith and Hope, enable us to lead a life of love, which is an answer to God’s gracious gift: “I have loved you first!” (emphasis added)