The most powerful words that we can use in all of human language are: “I forgive you.” When Jesus was nailed to the hard wood of the cross, in the throes of pain and suffering, he prayed to God: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Contrition can put us in right and holy relationship with God and others, and is a fresh beginning, a clean slate, and a new opportunity to use words to heal.
-Br. Jim Woodrum, SSJE
The Third Day of Christmas:The gift of Forgiveness
In English the verb forgive comes from the Latin perdonare, which means to give thoroughly and wholeheartedly. To forgive is to wholeheartedly give it up. It’s an offering, and act of “oblation.”
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