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Forgiving and Forgetting

by Mar 14, 2023Friar Reflection

In Teri Libenson’s newspaper comic strip, The Pajama Diaries, her adult daughter Jill discovers that her mother has found love again at 70. Jill is delighted and asks how she and Harry are getting along.

“Good, of course certain habits of his are starting to annoy me. And he doesn’t shrug off criticism like your dad.”

Jill interrupts, “There you go again mom. Ever since dad died, you idealize him “Yet you two used to bicker all the time.”

“Well, that’s the nice thing about getting older, the memories you keep tend to be the good ones.”

Jill herself married to Rob, and the mother of two pre-teen daughters, concluded. “The key to a good marriage a selective memory.”

Mom smiles, “May you and Rob be blessed with long lives and short memories.”

Forgiveness is not easy, forgiving and forgetting is demanding. It can mean putting aside one’s pride, putting aside one’s grudges, being willing to “move on, to give the other another chance.”

As the wise woman has learned, forgiveness is to remember the good that all of us possess. We can move beyond the sometimes hurtful and insensitive things that others do, by realizing and focusing on the good things that they do.

As the grandmother has learned, for love to grow, we will need to be able to forgive the mistakes, realize that none of us are perfect, and to allow the other, as St. Francis exhorted his followers, “to begin again”.

May the good that we are capable of, the forgiveness that we are able to offer, be a means of healing the hurt and brokenness of others, especially when that “other” is someone close to us.

Image: “”Forgiveness” by @ifatma. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.