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cath2u

Joined: Jul. 23, 2012

Bio:

Married 20 years, mother of nine;  inspired by Theology of the Body to read Edith Stein (phenomenology), John Paul II (“the Great”), Janet Smith.  I have never studied philosophy, but whatever I read of this genre, it rings clear in my heart and head, and even when I don’t understand it, it draws me closer to God.


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Re: What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Aug. 2 at 8:18pm | see this comment in context

 So, contrition on the part of the wrong-doer would assist in the restoration of the relationship, which I agree with:

Katie van Schaijik, Aug. 2 at 11:14am

 Can you not see that, however free from resentment and bitterness the victim may render herself through prayer and good works, the relationship between them cannot be restored without the wrong-doer sincerely repenting and working to undo the damage he's done?

 But you seem to think that this "victim" could not forgive until there's contrition and restitution of the relationship.  This is where we disagree.  We MUST forgive, it is mandated in our faith and in our hearts, in the Our Father, in the lives of the saints and martyrs, in living our family lives.   "It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession."   (CCC 2843)  

Restitution of relationship may never be possible, contrition may not be forthcoming;  forgiveness is not only possible but it is a pillar of our spiritual life and is mandated by Christ.

Re: What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Aug. 2 at 2:49pm | see this comment in context

No, I guess I can't see that.  Our relationships ebb and flow, breaches in trust are sometimes irrepairable, even with the most perfect and true contrition.  You are equating forgiveness with repair of the relationship.  They aren't the same.  Sometimes we must forgive only because "they know not what they are doing"--this is as Christian as it gets, and it's not feeding into co-dependency, but actually love in action.  Love is a choice, forgiveness is a choice--a daily exercise of the will and of action, enabled by grace. 

Re: What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Aug. 2 at 10:26am | see this comment in context

I am a "victim" of abuse but have chosen life.  The "wrongdoer" has died, unrepentent.  Perhaps he has found contrition when he came before the Lord, I don't know, and it doesn't matter.  I forgave and will continue on the path of forgiveness because it's what I'm called to do, not because of any act on his part.  Contrary to what you both are saying, the "damage" CAN be repaired without contrition on the part of the wrongdoer.  And I will take it one step further:  even with that contrition, forgiveness is hard and is a process, and sometimes unattainable.  It's not about the wrong-doer's sorrow for wrongs, it's about healing and prayer and easing out of the mud of resentment and self-loathing.  You are re-victimizing people if their forgiveness is dependent on the contrition of those who did them wrong.

Re: What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Aug. 2 at 10:26am | see this comment in context

 Jules van Schaijik, Aug. 1 at 6:21am

...forgiving... It could also be an expression of co-dependency,     

Forgiving, finding the place where one can move forward, not hate, not distrust, to be at peace, that's co-dependency?   You distrust those who say they've forgiven someone of some great wrong, like it's totally impossible to have perfect forgiveness and therefore the validity is questionable.  Two points:  1.  What if contrition on the part of the wrong-doer is not total and complete?  Does that affect the ability of the victim to forgive?  Who's the judge of that perfect contrition?   2.  We all fall short and are prone to relapses of unforgiveness.  Are you saying we shouldn't say we've forgiven until those unreasonable moments are totally gone?   Only in heaven will that happen, but I believe we are capable of forgiveness here on earth, with God's grace, with the support of prayer and the sacraments, so we can move on in life.  (I have unreasonable moments in my life with husband and kids, when my thoughts are not totally loving.  Does that mean I don't love them?)

Re: What his contrition has to do with my forgiveness

Aug. 1 at 4:05am | see this comment in context

Though I don't disagree with most of what is written here (and it speaks eloquently of the depth of the human heart and the need we all have for each other), I don't think that, on a practical foot-in-the-gutter sense, we could possibly live what you embrace as truth.  My question was not rhetorical ("What's my forgiveness got to do with the other person's contrition?").  I will not grow, I will not heal, if I am incapable of forgiving, and that must be totally independent of the contrition/apology/sensitivity of the other.  If my true and deep forgiveness is dependent on contrition of "the other", I am held hostage by "the other's" insight, moral compass, rationalizations.   

 

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