The Dead are Practice for the Living

Forgiving the dead is practice for forgiving the living. The dead, for all their faults, can’t commit any new sins against us. The living commit fresh sins every day. Learning forgiveness is like quitting smoking. You do it thousands of times. The hardest bit about forgiveness is that the people we forgive today commit fresh outrages tomorrow. Hence the command to forgive seventy times seven. It’s probably the hardest part of Christian morality. Makes the Church’s sexual teaching look like a cakewalk. Unconditional love is great to receive and terribly outrageous to have to bestow. But, as our Lord’s teaching makes uncompromisingly clear, the degree to which we are willing to bestow it is the degree to which we will receive it. Scary.


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