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Is it possible to truly forgive someone while still harboring anger and resentment against them for actions they've committed against you? How can you undo resentment going back several years? There are those who betrayed me who to this day never sought forgiveness, and as I understand it, don't even think what they did was wrong.

Father Emmerich Vogt says that you don't have to befriend someone you forgive, you simply have to harbor no ill will toward them. Is that incomplete? I find it really hard to pray for those who've wronged me that feel no remorse.

What does the Church teach?
Jan 06 new
Hi Carl,

I have just finished reading "Left to Tell" by Immaculee Ilibagiza. I highly recommend it. It has made a huge impact on my life in the area of trusting God and forgiveness. She is a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda and with every terror filled day that would pass her faith grew stronger and her ability to forgive grew. If you are having issues with forgiveness, please read this book, it'll give you a new understanding of the power of grace.


Jan 06 new
I struggle with that question myself. It's hard to forgive something especially when you know the act is morally wrong. I pray to God to give me the strength and grace needed to forgive. I think you can forgive without forgetting what happened. To me, forgetting would be that I haven't learned anything and sometimes things could get repeated. For me, I feel that it's important to forgive for my own wellbeing...not for theirs. So I pray for God's help in forgiveness because in the end, it frees your heart and soul for better things to come.
Jan 06 new
Hey Carl,

I think there are many people who have very similar problems. Forgiveness can be tricky sometimes. I figured I would try to help you with this question as I understand it.

From what it sounds like you are very close to forgiveness already. Forgiveness by no means, requires that you forget the offense, but as you said it does require that you bear no ill will towards the person who offended you. I believe, however, to truly be able to forgive someone, you should be able to pray for them. If you truly harbor no ill will against someone, and love others as you love yourself, than you should be able to pray for them. Forgiveness is a tricky process, and it is just that, a process. Don't expect it all to occur immediately in one moment. The very fact that you are making progress towards forgiveness towards another is pleasing to God. My advice is to pray. Pray for help in the process, pray that God helps move your heart to forgiveness.

I found a couple articles that answer the question better than I probably did. www.concernedcatholics.org and www.catholicheraldsacramento.org. Again, this is just my understanding, and I am in no means an expert. Anyway I hope this helps you. God bless.
Jan 06 new
(quote) Carl-98335 said: Is it possible to truly forgive someone while still harboring anger and resentment against them for actions they've committed against you? How can you undo resentment going back several years? There are those who betrayed me who to this day never sought forgiveness, and as I understand it, don't even think what they did was wrong.

Father Emmerich Vogt says that you don't have to befriend someone you forgive, you simply have to harbor no ill will toward them. Is that incomplete? I find it really hard to pray for those who've wronged me that feel no remorse.

What does the Church teach?

Hi Carl,

I do not believe that you can truly forgive someone if they haven't taken responsibility for how their actions have hurt you, apologized in a way that you deem sincere, and are not willing to do what it takes to earn back your trust. Emotionally you have to protect yourself from more hurt. They have not earned you forgiveness.

At the same time, it is not healthy spiritually or psychologically for us to carry around resentment anger. In such cases, I think it best that we try to understand the limitations of the individual that has hurt us, and accept the fact that they will never be able to give us what we would have liked from them. You can forgive them for being flawed humans but essentially need to let your anger go.

Does that make sense?


Jan 06 new
(quote) Carol-1007500 said:

Hi Carl,

I do not believe that you can truly forgive someone if they haven't taken responsibility for how their actions have hurt you, apologized in a way that you deem sincere, and are not willing to do what it takes to earn back your trust. Emotionally you have to protect yourself from more hurt. They have not earned you forgiveness.

At the same time, it is not healthy spiritually or psychologically for us to carry around resentment anger. In such cases, I think it best that we try to understand the limitations of the individual that has hurt us, and accept the fact that they will never be able to give us what we would have liked from them. You can forgive them for being flawed humans but essentially need to let your anger go.

Does that make sense?


Hi Carol,

IIRC,in one sermon Fr. Emmerich discussed the fine line where repeated forgiveness can shade toward being enabling..

Again IIRC, he included your conditions as part of a complete situation of forgiveness.
Jan 06 new
(quote) Carl-98335 said: ... I find it really hard to pray for those who've wronged me that feel no remorse....
Difficult as it may be to pray for such people, it may be they that need
prayer the most.

Praying

biblehub.com


Jan 07 new
The things that really bother me: The person who wronged me did it intentionally; others who knew about it didn't speak up; the senior person involved told me point blank that he knew all about what was going on, but he was personal friends with the perpetrator; the senior person took no action against the perpetrator, but instead took me away from a position I'd worked very hard to achieve, and only promised that I would get the same position somewhere else, but it may take a year or longer. I was reassigned to a position far below my skills and capabilities, and the perpetrator himself tried to ingratiate himself to me. I decided to find a position somewhere else on my own.

I'm angry that although I secretly recorded my conversation with the senior person, I didn't take it to higher authorities, based on implied threats of retaliation. And the perpetrator and his buddies made me a laughingstock. I ask you, how do I forgive these people, and why should I?
Jan 07 new
(quote) Carl-98335 said: The things that really bother me: The person who wronged me did it intentionally; others who knew about it didn't speak up; the senior person involved told me point blank that he knew all about what was going on, but he was personal friends with the perpetrator; the senior person took no action against the perpetrator, but instead took me away from a position I'd worked very hard to achieve, and only promised that I would get the same position somewhere else, but it may take a year or longer. I was reassigned to a position far below my skills and capabilities, and the perpetrator himself tried to ingratiate himself to me. I decided to find a position somewhere else on my own.

I'm angry that although I secretly recorded my conversation with the senior person, I didn't take it to higher authorities, based on implied threats of retaliation. And the perpetrator and his buddies made me a laughingstock. I ask you, how do I forgive these people, and why should I?
Carl,
In an employment situation, you should also seek 'justice'. If you have evidence that would incriminate the perpetrator and prevent him from intentionally committing another wrong against someone else in the future, can you still take it to the senior person? You may not receive 'justice' for yourself, but you'll be protecting someone else from an injustice.

"True forgiveness" (catholic teaching) has to be 'offered' and 'accepted'.

If the injured individual, is the 'offeree', and offers forgiveness, but it is not accepted (for whatever reason: such as the other party refuses to repent of injuring another willfully), there hasn't been a 'complete act of forgiveness', but the injured party has done their catholic duty in offering the other, forgiveness. ((However, the injured individual can also seek 'justice', before or after the offer of forgiveness.))

If the perpetrator of the injury, asks for forgiveness from the individual they injured, but the injured individual won't grant them forgiveness (for whatever reason: that they are 'so deeply injured, they could never forgive'), there is not 'true forgiveness' either. The perpetrator is also responsible for repairing the damage they committed. Which is often times, almost impossible.

The term 'a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye', is really a teaching that when you take a tooth, you owe a tooth. And when you take an eye, you owe an eye. (((It's not a teaching that when someone injures you, you can seek retaliation and injure them equally brutally))). It's meant to teach that it's almost impossible to replace a tooth, if you've unjustly taken a tooth. And equally impossible to replace another eye, if you've taken their eyesight.

Praying for your enemies, is a catholic teaching. It's easy to pray for those we love. It's a much more difficult measure of love, to actually pray for those who harm us. But it works to your advantage, because praying for your enemies, allows you to a least remove the 'hatred' and 'anger' from your heart for your enemies, over time. Because it's impossible to hate, those we pray for, even if we have to 'force' ourselves to pray for them. But being who I am (a strong choleric), I still encourage people to seek justice, rather than remain mute, when an injustice has occurred. You may never see justice prevail. But at least do what you can to correct an injustice and to prevent it from happening to someone else.

(((A hug from the frozen tundra, to you Carl. You'll find justice, in the end--God is 'all just'. And you'll be free of this 'trespass', because you'll be able to forgive him....and you will be forgiven (according to the 'Our Father'), for any of your trespasses you've committed against others.))) theheart theheart
Jan 07 new
(quote) Molly-688164 said: Carl,
In an employment situation, you should also seek 'justice'. If you have evidence that would incriminate the perpetrator and prevent him from intentionally committing another wrong against someone else in the future, can you still take it to the senior person? You may not receive 'justice' for yourself, but you'll be protecting someone else from an injustice.

"True forgiveness" (catholic teaching) has to be 'offered' and 'accepted'.

If the injured individual, is the 'offeree', and offers forgiveness, but it is not accepted (for whatever reason: such as the other party refuses to repent of injuring another willfully), there hasn't been a 'complete act of forgiveness', but the injured party has done their catholic duty in offering the other, forgiveness. ((However, the injured individual can also seek 'justice', before or after the offer of forgiveness.))

If the perpetrator of the injury, asks for forgiveness from the individual they injured, but the injured individual won't grant them forgiveness (for whatever reason: that they are 'so deeply injured, they could never forgive'), there is not 'true forgiveness' either. The perpetrator is also responsible for repairing the damage they committed. Which is often times, almost impossible.

The term 'a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye', is really a teaching that when you take a tooth, you owe a tooth. And when you take an eye, you owe an eye. (((It's not a teaching that when someone injures you, you can seek retaliation and injure them equally brutally))). It's meant to teach that it's almost impossible to replace a tooth, if you've unjustly taken a tooth. And equally impossible to replace another eye, if you've taken their eyesight.

Praying for your enemies, is a catholic teaching. It's easy to pray for those we love. It's a much more difficult measure of love, to actually pray for those who harm us. But it works to your advantage, because praying for your enemies, allows you to a least remove the 'hatred' and 'anger' from your heart for your enemies, over time. Because it's impossible to hate, those we pray for, even if we have to 'force' ourselves to pray for them. But being who I am (a strong choleric), I still encourage people to seek justice, rather than remain mute, when an injustice has occurred. You may never see justice prevail. But at least do what you can to correct an injustice and to prevent it from happening to someone else.

(((A hug from the frozen tundra, to you Carl. You'll find justice, in the end--God is 'all just'. And you'll be free of this 'trespass', because you'll be able to forgive him....and you will be forgiven (according to the 'Our Father'), for any of your trespasses you've committed against others.)))
A very good post Molly.
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