“Forgiveness means that we are not going to allow the experiences of the past to dominate our future”
How often have our loved ones hurt us to the point of saying “I will never forgive ____”? Well, I haven’t ever said that but I did hear others say such line. Being unforgiving carries so much burden to the body, creating undue stress to the heart. Of course, I am often faced with “I’m sorry” now and then but I always take apologies with a grain of salt. Being sorry means not doing the same mistakes over and over again.
I think about forgiveness today because my friend Carlos Celdran is facing trial for allegedly violating Act No. 3815 Section 4 Article 133 of the Revised Penal code. The Church did not drop charges on “Offending the religious feelings” and chose to place Carlos on trial. Perhaps to punish him and teach him a lesson. Make him suffer for his alleged crime. For how long?
Carlos said “the Church is not forgiving me…” Most of us in Twitter felt the Church is quite hypocritical coming from a religion preaching about love and forgiveness. The same church that does nothing to children abused by priests. The church decision to pursue the case speaks much of how they all talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk!
So I am now wondering why can’t the Church forgive Carlos? I will never know what the Church thinks. I am not quite happy with certain sectors of the Catholic Church right now.
I would want to remind the church that forgiveness is not avoidance.
Forgiveness is not merely a soft attitude toward a harsh fact; forgiveness is the vital action of love, seeking to restore the harmony that has been shattered.
Forgiveness is not excusing.
Forgiveness is not denying that the one who has caused the hurt is responsible for their actions. There is a place for making allowances for people’s behaviour.
It is hard for me to hold grudges and that is one reason I am a forgiving person. Though I would forgive a person a number of times, I believe in boundaries. I’d never give anyone the opportunity to hurt me over and over again.
I feel the Church should have come up with a resolution that is acceptable to both sides. Then just let it go.
Letting go means that one is not going to allow the experiences of the past to dominate one’s future and to prevent one from becoming all that God has planned one should become. The Church clergy who were offended by Carlos actions may have unpleasant memories that are hard to forget .
There may well be memories we are unable to put out of mind, but we choose not to allow them to control our attitudes and behaviour in the future, even toward those who may be responsible for those memories.
The lessons of forgiveness holds true even in our personal lives. It does not come easy. In the end, we are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive.
It is a choice, a decision we make.
Have you forgiven someone today?
Here are the reactions on the church decision to pursue case against Carlos Celdran.