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In Theory:

Finding forgiveness in self, others

The principle of forgiveness seems to be woven into the fabric of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other major religions. Muslims and Jews have just observed Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a holy

October 02, 2009

Hasn’t everyone?

For me, journeys of forgiveness begin with choosing non-retaliation, traveling through prayer and understanding, and, ideally, arriving at compassion; the process moves from hostility to hospitality.

If I embrace the joy of God’s creativity in place of my own hurt and weakness, then God’s love can make me strong and rich and able to give and forgive.

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Forgiveness from the heart and mind is difficult, but once done what is shared is the laughter of God.

The Very Rev. Canon Peter D. Haynes

St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church of Corona del Mar

How can one not struggle with forgiveness? The very difficulty to forgive reveals the kind of power it contains. Those who forgive hold the key to the realm of God, capable of unselfish love, and inner peace.

Any who have wrestled to forgive can attest to the challenge, but likewise to the healing, for both the forgiven and perhaps more significantly the one who offers forgiveness. I have been the recipient of forgiveness and I have forgiven — in both situations I have been humbled.

Rev. Sarah Halverson

Fairview Community Church of Costa Mesa

Contrition is not the same as transformation.

My forgiving is always conditional on whether the one who offended against me has truly changed and not simply apologized.

It is through one’s subsequent acts, not his words of remorse, that one demonstrates repentance and thereby becomes worthy of forgiveness.

Rabbi Mark S. Miller

Temple Bat Yahm of Newport Beach

My biggest issue with forgiveness is with repeat offenders. Even people who do not violate me personally, it is difficult to continue to give them the mercy that was extended to me. Jesus told Peter we are to forgive someone seventy times seven or in other words, without end. That’s one I work on daily.

Ric Olsen

Lead Pastor

The Beacon

Forgiveness is essential for my faith — Christianity. How can I represent Christ if I am not forgiving — even when I do not feel like being forgiving?

I would not be a good spiritual leader if I did not struggle with how my actions and words harm others and God. I would not be able to preach authentically about forgiveness if I had not personally struggled with forgiving persons who have morally wounded me.

And I could do none of this if I have not personally experienced God’s love and forgiveness.

Pastor Mark Wiley

Mesa Verde United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa

Bitterness and resentful anger will poison our life-giving water, cloud every thought and action, prevent us from reaching our full potential and contaminate all aspects of our lives.

Forgiveness allows us to move forward and enjoy the balance of our time on this earth.

Tom Thorkelson

Director of Interfaith Relations for Orange County

It is much easier to preach about forgiveness than to live it out.

While I cannot remember struggling with forgiving someone who asked for my forgiveness or for asking one I’ve offended for their forgiveness, forgiving someone who does not ask for it is at times difficult for me.

When a spirit of unforgiveness comes over me, I try to recall the words of the late Pope John Paul II: “Forgiveness is the restoration of freedom to oneself. It is the key held in our own hand to our prison cell.”

Father Stephen Doktorczyk

St. Joachim Church of Costa Mesa


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