Forgiving, again, and again, and again. Forgive me if I carry on with this topic forgiveness, even if I get repetitive.
When I was a kid (about 8), I scraped my knee pretty badly. I wasn’t in a context of close adult supervision, so the wound was never cleaned or bandaged. The scab was huge. I couldn’t leave it alone. I kept picking at it until it got infected. I would squeeze out the puss, a scab would reform, and I would pick at it some more. It took months for the wound to heal (thank God I didn’t get blood poisoning). Well into adulthood, I had a scar on my knee from that wound.
Forgiveness, in my experience, is much like healing a wound. If we have good spiritual care and we follow instructions and the wound is not too severe, we can heal (forgive) pretty quickly. However, if we are left to own devices, if we have bad advice, or don’t follow good advice, emotional and spiritual wounds can fester and become gangrenous and eventually kill us. This is especially true if we keep picking at them: if we keep calling to mind past wrongs and experiencing afresh past pains.
“Fr. Michael Gillis”