Archive for October, 2016

I am in the process of forgiving someone. I do not think that I am suppressing, displacing, or denying my anger. I have uncovered that anger and I have a lot of it. I am not a fan of journaling and so that is not effective for me in reducing the anger. How do I now start to diminish this anger that is so uncomfortable for me?

It seems that you are ready to enter the forgiveness process which itself can help you reduce anger.  A first step often is this: Are you ready to commit to doing no harm to the one who has hurt you?  Notice that I am not asking for something positive here, such as compassion or kindness or love.  I am asking if you are ready to refrain from something negative—-not doing harm to the other by, for example, speaking disrespectfully about him or her to others.  Committing to doing no harm may be the beginning of anger reduction for you.  As you go more deeply into the forgiveness process, the anger can diminish more.

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What is a good way of achieving balance when teaching children about forgiveness so that they are not taken advantage of in the future?

A key here is to include discussions of the virtue of justice along with the virtue of forgiveness.  When a child forgives, he or she needs to be aware of fairness and if the other is not acting fairly, then the one who forgives needs to seek help from an adult authority to help solve the issue of injustice coming from the other child.

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Looking at forgiveness from the other side, how do I know when I truly have been forgiven?

I would ask you these questions:  Is the one who forgives showing you respect as a person?  Is the person bringing up the incident and dominating you or are you both now on the same level in terms of your humanity?  Does the other show an interest in reconciling with you and, if so, do you think that he or she is trusting you now in most areas of life?  Positive answers to these questions are good indicators that the other has forgiven you.

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I think that forgiveness is a fad, a passing fad, kind of like the mindfulness popularity. Why should I think that forgiveness will last a long time in Western culture?

Forgiveness is likely to continue because it has been discussed for thousands of years.  It is sad that forgiveness has yet to be taken seriously on the societal level.  By that I mean this: There never has been, from what I can find, a thorough-going discussion in any secular community on the importance of applying both justice and mercy/forgiveness together in the larger community.  Justice has been paramount and forgiveness virtually ignored.  So, forgiveness likely will continue to last within individual human hearts, primarily because that has been the case, as I mention above, for thousands of years.  It is my hope that societies will awaken to the importance of letting justice and mercy/forgiveness be part of the dialogue of how we should interact with one another.

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International Conference on Forgiveness for Peace to Be Held in Jerusalem, July 12 and 13, 2017


Come, and deepen your understanding of forgiveness.  Come, and joinjerusalemsilhouette us for the Jerusalem Conference on Forgiveness for Peace on July 12 and 13, 2017.

To forgive is to work toward reducing resentment and offering goodness of some kind to those who have not been good to you.  To forgive is not to give in to injustice or to excuse wrong-doing.  Forgiveness is from a position of strength, not weakness.  As forgiveness frees a person from debilitating resentments, then he or she has more vitality to see clearly and to pursue a better way with family, community, and the larger society.

Day 1 concerns interfaith dialogue among Jewish, Christian, and Muslimxperts discussing what the term “to forgive” means within their own belief system and how that knowledge of forgiveness can be used to


Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, the Philippines

enhance interfaith dialogue. Internationally notable speakers will participate: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (this year’s recipient of the Templeton Prize), Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, the Philippines, and Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia.  All are world-renown within their own faith


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth


Day 2 focuses on forgiveness education with educators from Belfast, Athens, Lebanon, the US, and the Galilee or Jerusalem areas discussing how they implement forgiveness education for children


Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia

and adolescents.  You may gain insights on how to bring forgiveness within your own family and community.  There will be opportunities to: 1) hear personal testimonies of those who have forgiven much and 2) share your own view.

The conference will take place at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. More information is on our website at the top of our homepage.


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