Forgiving wrongs darker than death or night
I watched part of a TV programme some weeks ago; it presented what purported to be the nation's favourite live comedians. The misogynistic content of some of the material was frightening: vile, obscene hate-charged spewing of the worst kind - and this to an audience which included women, many of whom were laughing raucously, complicit in their own degradation.
Later I pondered the hatred exhibited by these so-called comedians and also the self-hatred exhibited by the complicitous women in the audience and, do you know, I could feel my heart shrink. The heart shrinks in the face of human hatred it can't understand. But in an illuminating flash, I knew the soul has no such limitations of understanding: the soul expands to embrace what it knows to be the fear behind all hatred and the hurting which lies behind all fear. The soul knows that there is no cure for hatred but love.
"To forgive wrongs darker than death or night," are words I came across recently somewhere. The liberating beauty of forgiveness engages me more and more as I journey through life. I know from experience that the energy we spend sustaining and nourishing hurt and bitterness is huge; I also know from experience that that same energy, when freed by the power of forgiveness, can move us forward from our sticking-place as nothing else can. There is nothing more liberating of the soul's singing than to "forgive wrongs darker than death or night."
Something else I know from experience is that forgiveness is a lesson we have to learn anew each and every day. For ordinary broken human beings, which is what we all are, it is hard to accept the full weight of wrongs perpetrated against us and forgive the wrongdoer in a spirit of total understanding. In the face of wounds inflicted on us as individuals or as members of a religious group, or race, or gender, it is easy to forget the liberating effects of forgiveness and easier still to hold fast to the sticking-place of bitterness.
Seventy times may be the number of times we are called on to forgive another. I don't know that it gets any easier, but I do know that the knowledge of love and peace and joy, the lightness of being one experiences through each act of forgiveness, the beautiful consolation of letting go, all draw one into the profound meaning of life itself.
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21st May 2015 The Gift of Loss
6th May 2015 Walls
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30th April 2014 The Power of Gratitude
10th March 2014 The Darkling Thrush
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3rd February 2014 Dancing in the Wind
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7th January 2014 Singing out Loud
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25th November 2013 Missing Dates
18th November 2013 NEARER GOD’S HEART
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25th May 2009 The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
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7th May 2009 "Lessons I did not learn in School" - by Bill Gates
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10th November 2008 A Homily for The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – 9th November 2008
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