Archive for June, 2012
In a follow-up to the 50th International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin (see the June 9 post below), The Irish Times, Ireland’s daily newspaper, gave special attention to the forgiveness workshop conducted by Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute. Of the more than 160 workshops held during the Congress, Dr. Enright’s session was singled out by The Irish Times reporter who wrote:
There was a bewildering array of topics on offer, everything from reaching lapsed Catholics to justice for the developing world. It is unfair to pick just one, but I was really moved by Dr Robert Enright’s talk. Based at the University of Wisconsin, he is the acknowledged pioneer in the scientific study of forgiveness.
One of his fascinating pieces of research concerns heart attack survivors. Practising forgiveness enhanced their cardiovascular function.
He has also worked with survivors of incest and chronic pain sufferers. His talk cannot be summarised, but take a look at www.internationalforgiveness.com.
Richard Moore, blinded by a rubber bullet, provided a living example of forgiveness in his testimony in the arena.
When you forgive, please realize two things. First, the art of forgiving is for imperfect people and so please do not be hard on yourself if you struggle. The late Lewis Smedes taught me this. Humility can be an antidote to discouragement. Second, because forgiveness is a virtue, please do expect something special from yourself. You can excel in forgiveness and even surprise yourself. Aristotle taught me this.
KHOU.com, Houston, TX. A man whose wife and son were murdered has forgiven the killer–his other son–and is now spreading the word about the power of forgiveness.
Kent Whitaker says he was consumed with anger when he learned that his son Bart had committed the murders nine years ago in order to get the family inheritance. But Whitaker said he’s turned his anger into a message–one he hopes can convince others to forgive, no matter how badly they’ve been hurt.
“If we don’t forgive, then the bitterness that comes from the result of the event stays with us forever,” he said.
Even though Bart has been forgiven by his father, he has not been forgiven by the state. He received a death sentence for the murders and remains on Death Row, but his execution date has not been set. Read the full story and watch a video.
It seems to me that forgiveness is a good thing when someone has been really unfair to me. Yet, anger is a natural part of reacting to injustice. So, to forgive, does a person have to suppress anger? If so, then forgiveness seems like it is psychologically unhealthy.
When people forgive, the goal is to reduce or even eliminate the anger, not to suppress it. When we enter a forgiveness process, we look first at the anger, which is a way of acknowledging that anger, not suppressing it. Thus, when we forgive we acknowledge anger as a first step to reduce or even eliminate it. Forgiveness, then, is a healthy, not an unhealthy response.
I loved you with my whole heart. I tried to save you with all my strength. But it isn’t my place, that wasn’t my place. I love you still, I might kiss you deeply and never stop if you were here with your eyes closed against, your head against my heart. Rachael I love you, Rachael I love you, Rachael I truly love you, Rachael I love you, Rachael I love you, Rachael I love you, Rachael I love you, I want to see you healed. I got to close to your heart, and I questioned why you did the things you do, and that frightened you, and so you distanced yourself, and become a stranger while we were together, so you didn’t have to face up that fact. That God has more for you then smoking, and drinking, and conforming. I yelled at you, I tried to be your counselor and your boyfriend. That isn’t my place, I know that know. I wish I would have learned these lessons with someone else, and then had you as my prize. But that just means the spirit has something more for us, something we can’t even see. Something more for me, because I deserved better than how you treated me. All the times you disrespected me, all the times you hurt me. And now you’ll go off and in the future you’ll realize that what I said about you was all true, and you’ll change, but it’ll be with another man and that hurts because I wanted to be him.
I forgive you baby, i’ll call you that here one last time baby. Baby, my baby, my sweet baby, my beautiful baby girl, my boo, my love, my lover, my sweety, my girl, my lady, my fine baby, my princess, my moon and stars, you where my life, my whole world. I love you, I’m sorry I yelled today. I just hurt so much from this, but it’s time to brush off and move on. I’m amazing and cool, and you should miss having me. Because i’m a catch. And I rule. The thing is, I know you are too. You are amazing, but so broken. I wish I could have you, I’ve had you. I wish I could love you again one day, maybe we can be friends one day. What would be the point in wasting such a beautiful bond.
God’s my king now though, and I won’t change that for anyone. Not you, not anyone. I wish he was yours too. Hes so good to me. He would be sooo amazinng to you. He would love you in ways I can’t, no man could ever. I feel bad for wanting you to break down and have this blow up in your face. I love you face. I’m angry because I couldn’t control this. But I have to let go of this, because I don’t control you or anyone.
Love is a choice. You have to choose to love me Rachael, and you have the courage to do that. So I’m sorry for yelling, really. I love you. Have fun, grow. Change. I wish you salvation. I wish you God’s love. I’m selfish I know now, but at some point I won’t be. I love you baby. I love you Rachael. My sweet Rachael, so beautiful. So sweet. I love you, I’m sorry. I love you. I love you. I love you, I’m hurtinng because of you. I love you. I hope you regret it and tell me you love’d me so much and miss me. I love you. It’s unfair. I love you. But I wan’t the world for you. I want God’s love and freedom in you. You will heal so many girls someday. I hope we can hug and be friends, maybe even more maybe. Have a good one.