Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 16 June |
Saint of the Day: St. Benno of Meissen
home iconChurch
line break icon

When forgiving is super-human, call on grace

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/24/19

Pope invites us to stop the cycle of evil and revenge by beginning again with a story of grace

God requires us to forgive others with a “merciless conjunction,” Pope Francis said in reflecting on the Our Father: We pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

But forgiveness can require super-human strength, the pope acknowledged.

Speaking about this fifth petition of the Lord’s prayer, Francis said that in our relationship with God, there will always be an “uncancellable debt,” something we could never pay back. No matter how hard we try, “God loves us infinitely more than we love him,” the pope said.

And with that infinite goodness, God invites us to be good to others. “The two parts of the invocation [regarding forgiveness] are tied together with a merciless conjunction: We ask the Lord to forgive our debts, our sins, ‘as’ we forgive our friends, the people who live with us, our neighbors, the people who have not been good to us.”

Forgiveness can feel impossible, the pope reflected.

But if you cannot do it, ask the Lord to give you the strength to do it: Lord, help me to forgive. Here we find the bond between love for God and love of neighbor. Love calls for love; forgiveness calls for forgiveness.

It is Jesus who “inserts the power of forgiveness into human relationships,” the Bishop of Rome continued.

Justice isn’t enough. It doesn’t resolve everything, Francis said. Sometimes we have to stop the cycle of evil, of tit for tat.

Someone must love beyond what is necessary, to start again a story of grace. Evil knows its revenge, and if it is not interrupted, it risks spreading and suffocating the whole world.

Jesus replaces the “law of retaliation – what you did to me, I will do in turn to you – with the law of love: What God has done to me, I will give back to you!”

Let us think today, in this very beautiful Easter week, if we are able to forgive. And if we do not feel capable, we must ask the Lord to give us the grace to forgive, because knowing how to forgive is a grace.
Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s deep faith shines in her viral performance on ...
2
HOMILY
Magnús Sannleikur
5-year-old boy interrupts homily and asks for prayers for his int...
3
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
Edifa
4 Phrases about Jesus that you should never say to your child
6
Revista Misión
Interview: The husband of Chiara Corbella on his wife’s sac...
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.