In tackling such a subject as forgiveness, it is difficult to condense this powerful experience in just a few words. We begin with our Creator who is perfect in all ways and that He has no limits in His attributes, including forgiveness that radiates out of mercy. Since our heavenly Father is Agape Love, He takes no offense, does not harbor grudges, does not keep a record of wrongs done as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You could say that He is 'unbroken forgiveness' - an eternal force that is in the very spiritual air that we breathe, always constant and available to all. As we receive personal forgiveness, the same principle to forgive others is the dual dynamic in experiencing freedom.
Jesus was asked by the disciples how many times they needed to forgive someone. Jesus said, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:22).
To dissect the word forgive and split it into the prefix "for", it has a meaning of complete. And the word "give" contains the meanings of surrender, yield, to change. In this context, when a person forgives, they relinquish their personal right to hold on to that offense or injury, no matter how justified. In effect, it is letting go of deeply held negative feelings. This brings personal healing and liberation to the soul and a pardon to the offending person or circumstance.
Louis Zamperini is one example of what the power of forgiveness did in changing his life around. He was a heroic Olympian and World War II survivor as a Japanese POW. You can read about Louis in the book entitled, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand and has been made into a movie by the same name. He lived through an Air Force bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean and drifted for days on a life raft. He survived only to suffer brutally at the hand of his Japanese captors. Louis was haunted by the memories of his incarceration until he came face to face with the force of forgiveness. He lived out the remainder of his years in joy and purpose and passed away this year at the ripe age of 97.
Here is one of his quotes: "The one who forgives never brings up the past to that person's face. When you forgive, it's like it never happened. True forgiveness is complete and total."
Tomorrow, on November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day. I wrote a post last year in honor of all our serving military, past and present. Included in that post is an article on "What is a Vet?", written by Father Denis Edward O'Brien, MM/USMC. I hope you take some time to read it at this link: http://www.turn-uppatch.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-veteran.html
See you again at The Turn-Up Patch, two weeks from now on Monday, November 24....