Just gave a Forgiveness Workshop last Saturday and this was the summary hand-out people took away with them. Hope you enjoy and find helpful!! Email if questions!
In the extraordinary film, “Dead Man Walking,” Sister Helen Prejean helps Mathew Poncilette, who had been convicted and sentenced to death for a double murder, move through his denial and face honestly what he had done and the pain he had caused people. She did this out of deep love, knowing that only by accepting responsibility for his actions and being truthful about the guilt he was carrying in his own heart and mind, would he be able to open himself to experience true healing, forgiveness and peace.
The spirit of forgiveness does not mean that we must deny or ignore someone’s difficult qualities or unskilled, even hurtful, actions. It does mean we are willing to look at these in the light of love, with the purpose and intention of healing.
Someone once said the real miracle isn’t turning water into wine, but turning an enemy into a friend.
Forgiveness is a choice—a shift in perspective—a willingness to see beyond the mask of the other’s own ego (our shared humanity!) to see the spark of Divine Light that is the truth in him. Then we receive our own forgiveness as well. Diane Berke
“That I feed the hungry, forgive an insult, and love my enemy—these are great virtues. But what if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved—what then?” Carl Jung
The Great Hunter
An ornery fellow, a really grouchy old man , moved into a rural community. He immediately put a fence up and signs that said “No trespassing.” He also had a large attack dog.. One day the neighbor’s little girl crawled under the fence—she just wanted to pet the dog. The dog grabbed her by the throat and killed her. The town was outraged. No-one sold him food or seed to plant. Clerks refused to wait on him and no-one spoke to him. By spring he was destitute. One day he saw a man in his back filed sowing seed.. it was the father of the little girl. He rushed out and said, “Why, of all people, are you planting seed in my field? The grieving father said, “I am doing it to keep God alive in me.”
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”
― Lewis B. Smedes
Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed Be thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come, thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever and ever.
New Testament Lord’s Prayer
Oh Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will
But also those of evil will.
But remember not all the suffering they have inflicted upon us;
Remember the fruits we have born thanks to this suffering—
Our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
The greatness of heart which has grown out of all this.
And when they come to the Judgment,
Let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
A Prayer found near the body of a dead child at Ravensbruck concentration camp.
I John 4:8
2 John 4:10
John 15:10 If you abide in me…
The hardest part is people. So Lord help me face them without rancor or disappointment. Help me see the pain behind their actions rather than the malice;
The suffering rather than the rage.
And, in myself, as I struggle with the vise of my own desire—give me strength to
Quiet my heart, to quicken my empathy, to act in gratitude rather than need.
Remind me that each small bird shares atoms with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain,
That each time I close my heart to another, I add to the darkness;
Help me always follow kindness.
Let this be my prayer.
Karen Holden, in Prayers for a Thousand Years
Find :Song of Forgiveness, based on Rumi’s The Field
Martin Luther: The “penalty (for sin) continues so long as hatred of self continues, for this is true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Thesis #4
Nelson Mandela: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Jesus: Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Mathew 26: 27-28)