Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On Forgiveness

The other morning some of us were together in a church where the rector was saying Morning Prayer, and leading us in a guided silent prayer. He said, ‘Let us pray for those whom we love.’ And that was easy.

The he said, ‘Let us pray for those we do not love.’ And there rose before me three men for whom I have to pray. They were men who have opposed my work. In this way they may have been wrong.

But my wrong was in resentment and a feeling of letting myself be cut off from them, and even from praying for them because of it. Years ago, I read a quotation from Mary Lyon that recurs to me again and again: ‘Nine-tenths of our suffering is caused by others not thinking so much of us as we think they ought.’ If you want to know where pride nestles and festers in most of us, that is right where it is; and it is not the opposition of others, but our own pride, which causes us the deepest hurt. I never read a word that penetrated more deeply into the sin of pride from which all of us suffer, nor one which opens up more surgically our places of unforgiveness.

Samuel Moor Shoemaker
And Thy Neighbour

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