At a point in my life, I was faced with being told I had to forgive what I believe many would see as unforgivable. Not because I wanted to forgive but because I understood the wisdom that it was the healthy thing to do. I wish I could say it was a walk in the park but I fought it.
I did not want to grant forgiveness. I was not there yet on my spiritual journey. Somehow at first forgiveness seemed to let evil win. I wanted revenge. I wanted worldly justice. Maybe even beyond justice and onto extreme punishment. Maybe you are not like me but I wanted the responsible party to be in pain too and actually much worse pain than I was experiencing. That is where my heart was. Maybe, you go there, whenever you are hurt.
Maybe you’re beyond that in your journey and you want what is best for all of humanity. However, life doesn’t seem that way most days. I personally gravely fear that if we do not try to forgive we are headed to a world of torture for an entire group of fellow human beings. I believe war 101 is believing that a person is less than a person. Somehow we disconnect them from having a soul along with their human form. We are somehow above the evil they do and maybe we are to some extent but that still doesn’t give us an automatic pass into heaven. Not that you can earn your way into heaven it is by God’s grace that any of us make it there. We are in a battle every single day against some evil, know what internally you are fighting for.
So where did I begin forgiving a human of extreme failing? I let the pain in. I gave it time and yes sadly entertained thoughts of revenge. That was a step in getting to the pain. In many ways, I think that may be a natural human response to anger, wanting to do something about it and not taking stalk of what truly can be done by my insignificance. Know with certainty, that anger, revenge, rage are the lowest place to be in all this. Seeking vengeance never earned anyone sainthood. At that point, our actions are no holier than our neighbors.
With guidance I was able to clearly see the fictional revenge plan would NOT make me feel better, give me justice, and help me to move on and be more equipped to being healed. No punishment set my soul at peace. One day I finally faced nothing would truly ever be enough of a worldly punishment for the pain felt. Nothing made me feel as though justice would be served. So than and only than did I hand it over to God’s justice. His plan in all this. He gets to decide the fate of another’s soul. That has always been the case but somehow it took a while for me to surrounded to it. I wanted this false sense of control in order to right the world.
I started to briefly research hell. I had been given graces to understand more deeply the absolute horror of hell. At the time, I was certain the offenses I knew of would condemn. Thanks be to God, that I am not in charge of who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Eventually, I came to the belief that I do not even want my worst enemy in hell. It is an eternity of torture, with no breaks. A second is worse than anything imaginable. Instead of seeing a monster I tried to see a soul. I started praying for the soul of my enemy to be purified and fully repent, make their story a glory story for the Lord in conversion. It was hard, stomach turning, and tearful prayers. In turn, my soul of hard anger was being purified more and more.
I have decided to radically believe in heaven and hell. Most days that gives me such comfort. That one day this thirst for justice, safety, peace, joy and love could be a reality. I pray that we all make it to heaven. If you are someone I do not even know, a friend, family, or an acquaintance know for certain there is someone who wants you in heaven. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary and all the angels and saints want you in heaven. Yes you. No matter your story or the story of another’s you know, seek God’s mercy and he will forgive and grant justice. We always have a just God. He is all knowing.
Once the dust settles on anger. Perhaps it will take a long time. Maybe it never truly will settle with something so unspeakable and likely more to come. We have to face that we are called to forgive what once was unforgivable, unspeakable. So that the anger does not damage us further but makes us stronger in Christ’s love. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. Honor those that have suffered by allowing your heart to not add to their suffering. Love so deeply that there is no room for hate or indifference of a person just genuine hate of sin.
I choose to forgive that this or that evil exists. One day at a time. One forgiveness at a time. You and I may never reach the forgiveness and mercy that is necessary for a pure loving heart in all this. Yet we are to trust that a God will guide us if we involve him in prayer. Love2you2day and always.