Forgiveness Sunday

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The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. —Thomas Szasz

On Sunday February 11th, we will once again celebrate the rite of mutual forgiveness, after the dismissal at the end of Mass. This rite, borrowed from the Eastern Church, focuses on the forgiveness we need to both give and receive from others, and a great way to enter into Lent. To some this rite may seem to be "ritualistic", because we may not feel forgiveness in our heart for the one who may have offended us, or we may not recognize that we need to offer forgiveness to an individual we may not be aware of hurting. But that is entirely the point of this rite. Forgiveness like love is not primarily and emotion, rather it is an act—we forgive that we may feel forgiveness, we forgive that we may be forgiven.

The rite of mutual forgiveness is far from being just a ritual, it can be, and often is a profoundly effective event, that changes the lives of those, who participate in it.—Kallistos of Diokleia in Phrygia


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