Heartening story of forgiveness

A reader writes:

I just wanted to call your attention to a wonderful, moving article about a Catholic couple forgiving the young man who killed their daughter; in light of recent events, I think we could use more stories like this.

(Yes, I know, ritually impure source : > )

I think forgiveness is one of the surest signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is incredibly difficult, often scandalous, and yet it is the thing God absolutely demands of us if we are to have any hope whatsoever of having our own sins forgiven. Our strategies for avoiding it are numberless and becoming a Christian often only leads people to come up with ingenious theological rationales for explaining why they don’t need to do it. But Jesus is stark and plain-spoken: If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven.

The benefits of forgiveness? Read the story. Peace. Love. The laying down of a crushing burden. The capacity to receive and give love.

Forgiving is like giving up smoking: you do it thousands of times. God bless these people for doing the will of God.

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  • Marthe Lépine

    I think that my comment is somewhat out of line, but I feel strongly that I should write it anyhow. So, Mark, please feel free to remove it after reading it…
    In this story, there is:
    . a young man (even if 18 is now the age of majority) staying alone in his parents’ home while the rest of the family are on vacation;
    . a shotgun in the parents’ bedroom closet, with ammunition nearby;
    . the gun was totally legal, his father was perfectly entitled to own it;
    . the young man had anger-management problems and had apparently struck his girlfriend on a (very) few occasions.
    Mix all this together and you have the perfect recipe for a tragedy…
    How many other such tragedies could have been avoided as well if guns were not so easily available?
    Did anyone actually make a serious study of the number of times an individual actually managed to protect his family from harm, vs the number of such tragedies?
    And now, people were proud to post their pictures of themselves unpacking assault rifles in front of their Christmas trees.
    Is there something wrong with this picture? Please tell me… After all, I live in another country, maybe I am not entitled to my opinion!

    • Sus

      Martha, I do live in the US and I share your opinion. Very unlikely this tragedy would have occurred if the gun was locked securely in a safe that only the owner (the shooter’s father) knew the combination.

      I’ve kind of dropped the idea of gun control. There are too many people afraid of the government, and they will not be rational on the idea. Instead I think we should make laws that say if your gun is involved in a crime committed by someone else, you go to prison too.

      People will say oh but the guy could have stabbed the girl or whatever. I see that but let’s make it a little harder for the people who want to hurt others. It’s easy to squeeze a trigger. It’s much harder to have to touch the person to hurt them. I think if you own guns, you should be have to be responsible for securing them. If you don’t want that responsibility, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

      • Marthe Lépine

        I think that you have a very good point. Much more feasible than trying to control or restrict guns, since so many people already own them.

  • Marthe Lépine

    I’m back… Here is the link about assault weapons as Christmas gifts:
    From: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/12/christmas-rifle-photos-in-us-stir-online-debate.html
    Christmas rifle photos in U.S. stir online debate
    by Community Team Posted: December 26, 2012 11:50 AM Last Updated: December 27, 2012