A thought on forgiveness

From The Dailly Gospel two weeks ago, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  I meant to say more, but at this moment words fail me.

Forgiveness is not a proposal that can be immediately understood or easily accepted; in many ways it is a paradoxical message. Forgiveness in fact always involves an apparent short-term loss for a real long-term gain. Violence is the exact opposite; opting as it does for an apparent short‑term gain, it involves a real and permanent loss. Forgiveness may seem like weakness, but it demands great spiritual strength and moral courage, both in granting it and in accepting it. It may seem in some way to diminish us, but in fact it leads us to a fuller and richer humanity, more radiant with the splendor of the Creator.

— John Paul II, Message for World Peace Day, 2002.

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  • T J Hostek

    This is what JPII was good @ conveying. Too bad his most ardent admirers have always ignored him here.

    • http://emmasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com emmasrandomthoughts

      I think that’s a bit unfair. People have always ignored the teaching on forgiveness. After all, it’s no fun to forgive. 😉

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO

      I think the key point is that people are more likely to ignore JP II when it comes to applying the imperative of forgiveness in international relations. This surely must have been his point to talk about forgiveness on World Peace Day.

      • T J Hostek

        International, yes. Men like Georgw Weigel just choose to ignore all popes of the last 100 yrs or more. But after the conviction of the “Butcher of Philadelphia” was convicted of infanticide, pro-lifers were out in force demanding the death penalty. When pointed to JP’s condemnation of it, they were quick to claim it was “not made ex cathedra” therefore death penalty is licit therefore right

        • Thales

          “pro-lifers were out in force demanding the death penalty”

          Were they? It’s an honest question, as I really don’t know. The one prominent discussion of this issue by a pro-lifer that I was aware of was Robbie George over at Mirror of Justice loudly stating his opposition to the death penalty for Gosnell.

          • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO

            I have not seen any either. However, given the large number of people who identify as pro-life in surveys, and the even larger numbers (often in the 70-80% range) who demand an execution after a particularly heinous and well publicized crime, I am quite sure that such people exist.

      • http://emmasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com emmasrandomthoughts

        Ok. That makes sense. Fair enough.

  • Mark VA

    Thank you, Mr. Cruz-Uribe, for posting this quote.

    Forgiveness is indeed one of the most difficult things to achieve for a human being. Cardinal Wojtyla had a long history of practising this great virtue, often at great personal cost:


    He stood by the letter inspite of the fact that criticism for it, often virulent, came from the Marxists as well as many Catholics.