I remember somebody who told me: “I can forgive anyone who has wronged me, I can even love them, but I hate God’s enemies.” And then I thought of the life of a saint, when a priest prayed to God to punish those who betrayed Him by sentencing them to death. And Christ appeared to him and said, “Never pray for the punishment or death of anyone. If there was only one sinner in the world, I would choose to become a human being again, and die on the cross only for this sinner.”
Is this the stance we have to take towards our neighbor? Is this the stance we have to take in the vast world, so tragic, so bad, and so full of pain in our search for completion and fullness? For God will forgive, let us forgive each other. You should remember that, if we do not forgive our neighbor, he departs with pain and tears in his heart, and we are hurt, because if we do not forgive, we ourselves are not healed. The evil that has happened to us remains within us, harming and destroying our souls.
Let’s learn to forgive so that we offer the healing to the others and ourselves. Let us now pray together, with one soul and mind; and when we come to kneel before the icon of Christ and the Virgin Mary, turn to one another ready to forgive ourselves and forgive the others, whatever it may be the price. Amen.
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh