Richard Rohr on Forgiveness

You could say that among the most powerful of human experiences is to give or to receive forgiveness. Much of Jesus’ teaching is directly or indirectly about this mystery of forgiveness, God breaking God’s own rules. That’s not surprising, because forgiveness is probably the only human action that reveals three goodnesses simultaneously! When we forgive, we choose the goodness of the other over their faults; we experience God’s goodness flowing through ourselves; and we experience our own goodness in a way that almost surprises us. This is an awesome coming together of one flow of power, both human and divine at the same time.

If you don’t get forgiveness, you’re missing the whole mystery of God. You are still living in a world of meritocracy, of quid-pro-quo thinking, a world of performance and behavior at which none of us succeed, if we are honest. Forgiveness is the great thawing of all logic, reason, and worthiness, and the primary way we move from the economy of merit to the economy of grace. Forgiveness is a collapsing into the mystery of God as totally unearned love, unmerited grace. It is the final surrender to the humility and power of a Divine Love and a Divine Lover.

Adapted from Hope Against Darkness:
The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety
, pp. 141, 146

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “Richard Rohr on Forgiveness”

  1. I love this, especially after entering the darkness of Auschwitz.together. you are a gift to my life, dear friend


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