Do not destroy yourself; Tu scendi dalle stelle!


Why do we refuse to forgive? Are we punishing the other person and protecting ourselves from further harm? Not really. Our enemies suffer minimally from our unforgiveness compared with the damage we do to ourselves. The verdict we pass on others is passed on us. (Mt 7:2) Unforgiveness is a fatal poison which cuts us off from forgiveness (Mk 11:24-25), and worship. (Mt 5:23-24). That means, we are totally cut off from the grace of God.

When we are separated from the graces, we are handed over to the torturers. (Mt 18:34) These torturers are not people, but worse. They are such experiences as fear, depression, frustration, anxiety, self-hatred and loneliness. As these and other torturers work over us, we deteriorate to a level of existence which is characterized by fruitless, compulsive, escapist activities. Hatred Is a barrier to forgiveness, it prevents the person from taking positive actions, it prevents his positive achievements, it fills the person with resentment, bitterness and depression.

Oh, my God!, I do not want to be a hatred person, because I want to enjoy my freedom with Christ!. Let the grace of God be there with me, so I will have enough compassion to practice forgiveness. If you feel compassion to your enemies, then you are halfway in forgiveness. Your inner healing starts there! Your success in life starts there!

We must forgive others and ourselves or destroy ourselves. Yet it is humanly impossible to forgive. “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” Only God can forgive. To forgive another is more miraculous than healing someone in the most advanced stages of cancer. But God will do this miracle for us.

Certainly, forgiveness does not come spontaneously or naturally to people. Forgiving from the heart can sometimes be actually heroic. The truth is that one cannot remain a prisoner of the past, for individuals and peoples need a sort of “healing of memories”, so that past evils will not come back again. This does not mean forgetting past events; it means reexamining them with a new attitude and learning precisely from the experience of suffering that only love can build up, whereas hatred produces devastation and ruin. The deadly cycle of revenge must be replaced by the new-found liberty of forgiveness. For this to happen, we must learn to read the history of other peoples without facile and partisan bias, making an effort to understand their point of view. This is a real challenge also on the level of education and culture. This is a challenge for civilization!

“I entrust you with the task of living and spreading forgiveness, thus becoming peacemakers. Looking at the crib, where the little Child lies in the straw of the manger, we can easily understand what forgiveness is: it is reaching out to the other who offended me, coming close to him who drew away from me. God was faithful to sinful humanity to the point of dwelling among us.

The beautiful Christmas carol Tuscendi dalle stelle says: ‘Oh, how much it cost you to have loved me!”. The Son of God loved us, who offended him; we too must love those who offend us, and thus conquer evil with good. To hate sin but to love the sinner: this is the way to peace, the way that the Lord teaches us from the mystery of his birth.” – Papa John Paul II