About four years ago, Shauna came to visit me. She told me there were eight in her family. Her Father was dead, and had beaten all of them growing up. He didn’t drink, but he physically abused every member of the family. We spent two hours talking, praying and discussing the family situation. During the course of the conversation I was directed that there was one family member that he beat more than the rest. Shauna confirmed that it was her sister Mary, the youngest of the family. Mary looked after him when he was dying, but he never made any apology. Shauna passed the remark, ‘if he hated us so much, why did he have so many of us?’ There was a great tension and fear always in the house when he was around. Anytime talk of her Dad came up in conversation between the family, she wouldn’t sleep that night. That continues, even to this day. Because of what her mother went through, she couldn’t see herself getting married and has stayed single. They had a mass of atonement for the hurt that he caused them and also a family tree mass. Naturally some of the family found it very difficult to forgive.
If your spouse or parent is abusive, they are lacking in love. Maybe they are coming from a place of hurt or it could be coming down through the generations. Maybe they have never experienced love and therefore can’t give it. On their behalf, call down the graces and blessings from the sacrament of baptism that they received when they were christened and ask the Lord to cover them in his precious blood to bless them and fill them with his love. Picture them at the foot of the cross and on their behalf say, ‘I love me, because Jesus You love me, because You died for me on Calvary’. You can use this prayer for anyone you know who is lacking in love.
To forgive someone who has hurt you so much is probably one of the hardest things anyone could be asked to do.
Forgiveness starts with a mental decision.
To forgive someone is simply an ‘act of will’ or attitude. To forgive someone is a testimony of strength and maturity, and not a sign of weakness. Maybe all you can offer today is, ‘I want to forgive you, but right now I’m struggling.’ Ask God to grant you the graces to carry this out.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are giving in to or accepting what happened.
It doesn’t excuse or negate the incident. The other person will be held accountable for their actions before God.
Forgiveness is not the same as reconciling.
We can forgive someone even if we never can get along with them again.
Forgiveness is based on our attitude not on others’ actions.
There will always be people who will hurt us in life. It’s how we deal with it, is what matters. Ask God to ‘change me and bless them’.
Forgiveness is a process.
It might take some time to work through our emotional problems before we can truly forgive.
Forgiveness does not mean we now have to return to being the victim.
Forgiveness is not letting these actions recur again and again. We don’t have to tolerate, lack of respect or any form of abuse.
Forgetting does not mean denying reality or ignoring repeated offences.
Some people are obnoxious, mean-spirited, apathetic, or unreliable. They never will change. We need to change the way we respond to them and quit expecting them to be different.
We have to forgive every time.
If we find ourselves constantly forgiving the same person for the same hurt though, we might need to take a look at what we are doing with the other person that sets us up to be continually hurt, attacked, or abused. Sometimes it is necessary to have a gentle chat with someone to ask them why they feel the need to behave this way with you and are they aware of that?
We still have to forgive, if they don’t repent.
Even if they never ask, we need to forgive. We should memorize and repeat over and over: Forgiveness is about our attitude, not their action.
We don’t always have to tell them we have forgiven them.
Self-righteously announcing our gracious forgiveness to someone who has not asked to be forgiven may be a manipulation to make them feel guilty. It also is a form of pride.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.
It’s normal for memories to be triggered in the future. When thoughts of past hurts occur, it’s what we do with them that counts. When we find ourselves focusing on a past offense, we can learn to say, ‘Thank you, God, for this reminder of how important forgiveness is.’
At the end of our days, God will ask us how we handled the challenges He set before us.
He won’t question us on the actions of others
This is a major problem in many families. I want to go into this in detail because it is an unknown form of evil
to carry hatred, resentment or unforgiveness towards another person. Those of you who have read my first book ‘Please Pray For Us…We Need Your Help - The Holy Souls in Purgatory
know that unforgiveness is one of the biggest reasons souls are held in purgatory. It is also one of the biggest causes of sickness and disease.
If I have to forgive someone what should I do?
Go to confession and offer forgiveness for the person who has hurt you. Offer repentance for any hurt you have caused them in retaliation.
Say the Prayer of Forgiveness
Arrange a Mass of Deliverance or Healing for them as this person is likely coming from a place of hurt and include the Prayer Of Protection For Freedom From Curses &
Evil and Healing of Ancestry - A Prayer of Deliverance
Some wounds go very deep, so don’t be afraid to seek counselling, if necessary