Just Start (4): Learn to Forgive

In this new video in the series on the works of mercy, various people talk about their struggle to forgive others, and the peace that doing so brings into their life.

Questions for dialogue

— Why might the people in this video find it hard to forgive?

— How have they overcome these difficulties?

— Why is prayer and the reception of the sacraments important for someone who needs to ask for forgiveness and forgive others?

— Why does forgiveness lead to peace and joy?

Suggestions for action

— Often ask God for forgiveness by making acts of contrition.

— Go regularly to confession, a source of grace and forgiveness.

— Ask our Lord for the grace to always be ready to forgive, both in big things and little ones, no matter how difficult it is, and that he remove from your heart any rancor, resentment or desire for revenge.

— Pray frequently for those who have offended you or those you have offended.

Quotes from Sacred Scripture to reflect on

— Thou art a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Neh 9:17).

— “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt 18:21-22).

— “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).

— Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us (Mt 6:12).

— … if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Col 3:13).

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Eph 4:31-32).

Quotes from Pope Francis to reflect on

— I now ask of you one thing. In silence, let's all think... everyone think of a person with whom we are annoyed, with whom we are angry, someone we do not like. Let us think of that person and in silence, at this moment, let us pray for this person and let us become merciful with this person (Angelus, 15 September 2013).

— We find it difficult to forgive others. Lord, grant us you mercy so that we learn to always forgive (Tweet, 29 November 2013).

— God always forgives! He never grows tired of forgiving. It is we who grow tired of asking for forgiveness (Homily, 23 January 2015).

— It is in the heart of the family that we learn how to forgive, because we have the certitude of being understood and helped whatever our mistakes may have been (Homily, 27 December 2015).

— Christ’s love fills our hearts and enables us to always forgive (Tweet, 2 May 2015).

Quotes from Saint Josemaria to reflect on

— Put yourself always in your neighbor’s shoes. You will then see the various issues or problems calmly. You will not get annoyed. You will be understanding. You will make allowances and will correct people when and as required. And you will fill the world with charity (The Forge, no. 958).

— Those who zealously keep a “list of grudges” show themselves to be very narrow-minded souls! Such poor wretches are impossible to live with (Furrow, no. 738).

— Forgiveness. To forgive with one’s whole heart and with no trace of a grudge will always be a wonderfully fruitful disposition to have! That was Christ’s attitude on being nailed to the Cross: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” From this came your salvation and mine (Furrow, no. 805).

Links to other resources

Novena for Forgiveness

Blessed Alvaro: "Learning to Forgive"