Forgiveness is a long word. One could sit and contemplate it for a long time. If you used it in Scrabble, particularly if you got a triple word score - Wow! I don't even know how many points that might be. That "V" is worth more than 1 point!
In my studying during this Lenten season, I have come across several articles that deal specifically with forgiveness.
I've not been one who lets things go easily. I tend to hang on to the hurts, the betrayals or even the perceived notions of being slighted somehow. You just wouldn't believe how difficult this forgiveness business is.
At this point, I'm focusing on just a couple of people in my life I need to forgive. These people haven't hurt me physically or anything... it's more a matter of a series of events that have lead up to the hurt I have in my heart and the anger that's been brewing inside me for a while now due to this hurt.
Along with "The Purpose Driven Life", I am also reading a little publication called "Daily Reflections for Lent" that was being given out at my parish on Ash Wednesday. A few days ago, it asked "Who are the people in my life toward whom I feel anger? Pray for that person or persons now. Can I bring myself to forgive that person? What might I do as a step toward reconciliation?" Wow. And I read this passage in the midst of my anger.
I am not a highly religious person. In fact, for many years, I identified myself as Agnostic. I was raised Southern Baptist (keep the jokes to yourselves, please), then went thru the Agnostic era - The Evil Twin and I refused to get married in a church - then, we decided to send Buddy to Catholic School.
When I was 14, my Spanish class took a trip to Mexico. Well, there were about 7 of us whose parents allowed us to go and could pay for it. While in Mexico, we visited the Basilica where the famous cloak of Juan Diego hangs behind the altar. http://www.ourladyofguadalupe.org/ologimage.htm I saw that and I immediately knew it was the real thing. I knew I wanted to be Catholic, but you don't go home and tell your Southern Baptist parents that kind of news. So, I waited and I became "nothing".
When Buddy started preschool, I started RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults). I studied for many months and was confirmed at Easter of 2002. Even though I am very happy to be Catholic and I am happy to be raising my children Catholic, it's still a very difficult thing for me to wrap my brain around. The Evil Twin is Agnostic, if you're wondering.
Anyway, back to forgiveness. While it is difficult and while I am not overly religious, I think forgiveness is something I can do and I can do it with a good and open heart. That's the best I can do for now.