By Kim Ae-ran
As the author says, forgiving is the hardest thing in the world to do, but God wants and empowers us to forgive boundlessly. Above all, forgiveness is for ourselves. Constantly to break free from trivial wounds and emotional chains, we need unlimited forgiveness.
We have seen various struggles in our society such as the so-called comfort women, the MeToo movement, the April 19 revolution, the May 16 revolution, the 1950-53 Korean War and the April 3 Jeju uprising.
After 70 years, the April 3 Jeju uprising has emerged as a serious issue and renewed public attention to the painful memory.
There would be nobody who has no hurts, wounds or trauma. Directly or indirectly, each of us has some bits of wounds, big or small, since the very beginning in the womb. Letting wounds out, we try to find the solution or countermeasure to be free from the struggling situations.
Here and there around the world, we can easily find people suffering from emotional or psychological wounds inherited from their families or caused by mutual relationships. When the power of negativity is insistent, we are prone to be disguised by the evil spirit.
I think the person directly involved has the key to solve the root cause. Unless they open their hearts and accept the reality as it is, it would not easy to change the struggling situations.
When we are not able to forgive willingly, that hardened feeling affects not only the physical health but also the emotional and spiritual health of the person directly involved.
When not controlling the emotional ups and downs inside, the face becomes dark, gloomy and even depressed.
So Jesus advises us to forgive "not just seven times but seventy times seven" (Mt 18:22). "Forgiving seventy times seven" means to forgive willingly and unconditionally without end.
We have to forgive one another because "we all stumble in many ways." (Jas 3:2).
St. Paul recommends us to "bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone." (Col 3:13).
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1P 4:8)
It seems not easy to forget about the past wrongdoings. How can we forgive the self and others ceaselessly? How is forgiveness possible?
When we entrust everything to the providence of God and pray, our inner burdens are uplifted and disappeared without knowing. As if nothing happens, we can begin again. The relationship with the self or others has such a mysterious power.
Like releasing the complicated knot of the threads or removing the obstacles in the middle of the road, forgiveness is the gift and the grace. Even when we feel that we can't do anything by ourselves alone, the most merciful, generous and compassionate Lord always builds the bridge to go on. How marvelous are the stepping stones that let us go on a journey in the midst of the stream!
The author is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul (Figlie di San Paolo), living and giving the Good News to the world by means of social communication. Learn more about the congregation at fsp.pauline.or.kr.