- By the way, forgiveness does not mean that the offending party wants the forgiveness. In that case, it is not received and they don’t benefit from the forgiveness.
- By the way, forgiveness does not mean that the offending party is given the go ahead to offend again.
- By the way, forgiveness from the depths of your heart doesn’t mean that your feelings and emotions must follow this act of the will done in God’s grace. Your feeling and emotion might be screaming for hatred and revenge. Whatever. We are weak in this world. But we can make an act of the will to forgive in God’s grace. That does us a great amount of good. “Pray for those who persecute you!” Remember that teaching of our Lord? Yep. Wouldn’t it give great glory to God for a terrorist to turn to the Lord, I mean truly, honestly? Yep. And we must desire that. Otherwise, our lives are dictated by terrorists, and that’s not good, is it? Nope. See the first two bulleted points above.
UPDATE: I’ve noticed that there are some rather violent reactions to the offer of forgiveness by some who congratulate themselves to be hard-core Catholics.
I’d like to remind such people that the wish that others not be forgiven, no matter at what cost for that non-forgiveness, risks drawing down the wrath of Almighty God upon themselves. “Don’t forgive us as we don’t forgive others” is also a prayer that God hears. It can send one straight to hell.
Is this not spitting on the Son of God as He begs His Father, Our Father: “Father, forgive them! They don’t even know what they are doing.”
Remember: Forgiveness does not mean that the others are able to take in the forgiveness, for they might not want the forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that permission is given to do something wrong. It isn’t a blessing for wrongdoing. It’s an offer of reality before the crucified Christ. It’s not cheap grace. It’s not somehow unmanly. It’s not about peace at all costs. Justice is also necessary. So is the offer of pardon. Again, if we don’t make the offer, we are controlled by the terrorists, and the terrorists win. They want us to hate them, to be their Satan, and we help them when we don’t show them a better Way.
The offer of pardon goes hand in hand, of course, with bullets to stop unjust aggression. If people can’t get this straight, they ought best keep their opinions to themselves. They are promoters of jacking up violence just for the sake of their own private arrogance. Not good for us. Such arrogance is not a way to support the troops. It does no one any good. It mocks the sacrifices, to death, of the military. Not good. Error such as this has no rights. Error has no rights at all.
One last thing: “Pray for those who persecute you.” Too hard? Impossible? Yep, on both counts, for us. But with God’s grace, this is possible. The Lord does not command the impossible. He provides the grace. Our Father… Hail Mary…
Addendum: I am reminded of a Nuncio appointed to a genocidal region of Africa. He preached forgiveness, seeing that those in the region were consumed with violent hatred years later. Consumed. They said they didn’t want to hear about forgiveness. They murdered him. Another was sent. Same thing. Dead. The offer of forgiveness does great good for those who offer the forgiveness, regardless of whether it is taken in or not by offending parties.