In the 1970’s, with the movie Love Story, actress Ali McGraw put into fashion a sentence which stated: “Love is never having to say I am sorry”. And really, if the love of those beings which populate this planet would be true, we would never have to ask for forgiveness. But, since we have not yet understood the true meaning of “Love one another”, we live in a world where we would constantly have to ask for forgiveness, and I mean “we would constantly have to” because unfortunately the human being in most cases upon committing an error, does not want to recognize it, and if he does, refuses the humiliation of having to ask for forgiveness. In the same manner, he who has been offended or grieved, often refuses to forgive.
And the question arises: What is more difficult, to ask for forgiveness or to forgive? What is it that leads us in one case or the other not to put into practice the greatest example of love and humility that human kind has received through the Divine Master? He who, being at the cross, and after having been mocked and tortured, elevating a prayer to the skies said: “Father forgive them, as they do not know what they do”. Once again, as always in our history, what continues to be causing our being lost is our lack of love, and our enormous arrogance.
Could it be that we have not become tired of seeing around us repetedly, time and time again, the consequences due to lack of forgiveness? Have we not seen complete towns exterminated by their own inhabitants due to family feuds which had never been forgiven, and that have been passed on from generation to generation as if it was a hereditary illness between parents and their children? Are we not seeing currently entire nations which have been converted into infernos of hatred and destruction due to the lack of forgiveness?
It is sad to see that after so many centuries, humanity has not comprehended that at the end, the one who survived is not the arrogant, but rather the humble. In this world in which the meek and humble are categorized under subservience, stupidity or cowardness, history has not stopped yielding testimony that in its memory, the greatest, the most remembered and written about, the most followed, have been those which have left on earth an example of kindness, forgiveness, simplicity and humility. True strength lies in love, in understanding that those who recognize an error, are not humiliating themselves before the eyes of the world, but rather to the contrary, are being greater before the eyes of God.
We should not see forgiveness as a mystic act, as something that requires from us a super human effort, but as a natural act, because having our spirit sprouted from the eternal forgiveness which is the Divinity, to us forgiveness should be part of our nature.
Peter asked the Divine Master during the second era: “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven?” And the Divine Master replied: “I do not say on to you up to seven, but even up to seventy times seven” ( Mathew 18:21; Luke 17:3-4).
What did the Lord mean with His answer? Very simple, He wanted to say that for forgiveness there is no limit, that we have to forgive always and as many times as it is necessary. Each one of us has been forgiven by our Father as many times as we have required, throughout our long existence as spirits, regardless of the caliber of our faults, no matter how often the sin was committed. Our forgiveness has been infinite as is the love of our Father. And to think that there have been such terrible faults that should not reach or deserve the Divine fogiveness, is to believe in a limited and small god whose love is not sufficiently great or powerful to save he who has sinned, and this is impossible.
The most palpable proof of the Divine love, the greatest of all, is the marvelous law of the reencarnation, the one which gives the spirit the opportunity to return as many times as necessary so that it can restitute and settle the outstanding bundles of faults thatwere accumulated during its existence, and as such move forward in the path of evolution and spiritual regeneration.
It is important to make this last point very clear, because we do not doubt that there may be many who upon reading this page may think that if God really forgives everything, it does not matter what bad deeds we make, if we shall always be forgiven; Likewise, we also know that many believe that it is enough to repent at the last minute to reach Divine forgiveness and be absolved of all guilt. This is a big error; because same as the Divine forgiveness exists, Divine justice also exists, and the later one is inexorable. That is to say, that although it is a fact that we are infinetely forgiven, it does not free us from the responsibility that we have with our bretheren to restitute with love and goodness all the bad things that we may have caused them; moreover, the more errors that we commit, the harder that it will become to settle accounts, suffering will always increment, and restitution will be more painful.
Our Father says:
Well, we have spoken of those that because of the committed faults need to be forgiven; But, how about those that have been offended and need to grant forgiveness? Our Father, upon speaking to us about them has stated that He could divide them in three groups: The first is formed by those that having received an offense, not knowing how to contain themselves, and forgetting the Divine teachings, have become blindly angered and obtained vengence blow by blow; this group has allowed itself to be defeated by temptation and is a slave to its passions.
The second group is formed by those that upon being offended, remembering the example of the Divine Master, shut their lips and contain their impulses to say: ” Lord, They have offended me, but instead of seeking revenge, I have forgiven.” But, in the bottom of their hearts, they hold a silent grudge, and the wish that God takes revenge upon their aggressors, discharging upon them all His justice; this group is in the midst of their struggle.
The third group, the smallest, consists of those that imitating Jesus, upon being offended, elevate towards their Father, full of mercy for their brethren, to say: ” Lord, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”; and even though they have been hurt, in their prayer they ask for mercy for their aggressors, because they know that in reality, they have hurt themselves, and only wish them well; this group, according to our Father, is triumphant in the test.
To which group does each one of us belong to? Are we those that return offense for offense, blow for blow? ; Of those that without returning the offense, expect to be revenged, or are we those that by placing the other cheek ask our Father to enlighten those who have offended us? The reply to these questions is within ourselves, and the only way to know, is to face ourselves with the light of our conscience. What we know, at least those who have the priviledge of knowing this Divine teaching, is that forgiveness does not stem from forgetfulness, because if we would forget about the offenses of our brethren, what would we then have to forgive them about? In order to forgive and to ask for forgiveness, it is indispensable to put yourself in the other’s place, because as long as we do not feel our brethren closely, we shall not ever understand the reasons of the offender or feel the pain of the offended. It is also necessary to fight against our own arrogance, because as long as we do not defeat it, we shall continue to first put our low passions that impede us from knowing truth , before true love which is the fountain of forgiveness.
He, who after having been offended does not accept his brother’s petition for forgiveness, is being as guilty and sinful as the one who offended him. The practice of forgiveness leaves in its way, undescribable fruits of sweetness; it reconciles us, it frees us, it resucitates and saves us.