How can I live a more forgiving life?
Why should I forgive?
Was I wrong to be angry?
Must forgiveness be unconditional?
What about justice?
If I have wounded someone, how do I ask for forgiveness?
Will forgiveness heal my shame?
Am I unforgiveable?
These are just a few of the questions we addressed this October in a 2-part series called Forgiveness Café, hosted by Doug Hundley. Our conversation partners were ancient and contemporary texts, as well as each other. Doug helped us listen to the wisdom of voices throughout history who had things to teach us about forgiveness, and we shared personal stories around the table.
During our final session we concluded with a beautiful ritual around forgiveness: forgiving ourselves, forgiving others, and committing to a life of forgiveness in the future. Due to the sensitive nature of these conversations, we did not record a podcast as per usual, but if you’d like to see some additional resources on forgiveness and take a look at the closing ritual, click to download the free pdf below, no strings attached.
This prayer was a good partner for our conversations–we hope you will join us in praying it together as we seek to be a more loving community!
Prayer of St. Francis
(adapted for inclusive language and communal reading)
God, make us the instruments of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine One,
Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.