An extract from Saint Nicholas Velimirovich's homily on forgiveness

Without forgiveness, what would our world become?

without forgiveness what would our world become

St Nicholas of Serbia writes, “What would human society be without forgiveness? A menagerie among the menagerie of nature. What, besides unbearable chains, would all human laws on earth be if they were not mitigated by forgiveness? Without forgiveness, could a mother be called a mother, a brother a brother, a Christian a Christian? No, forgiveness is the cornerstone of all these names. Without the words of asking for- and granting forgiveness, human life would be completely unbearable. There is no wisdom on earth that could restore order and establish peace between people without the help of forgiveness.

No school or upbringing can make people generous and virtuous without forgiveness. What is the use of all worldly wisdom if it does not teach us to forgive our neighbour for an insulting word or look? None. What is the use of a hundred ounces of anointing oil if each drop does not testify to at least one forgiven offence? None whatsoever.”

If we only knew how much the Lord and our neighbours silently forgive us every day and every hour, we would hasten to forgive others with shame. How many of our careless and offensive words, evil looks and inappropriate deeds are answered with silence! 

People endure this without taking "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (Matthew 5:38). This is ever more true in relation to the forgiveness of God. Lord Jesus Christ speaks about the immensity of God's forgiveness in His answer to Peter's question whether to forgive his brother's sins "as many as seven times". 

The Lord answered this with the famous words, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven" (Matt. 18:22). 

Compare these two statements and you will see the difference between man and God. Peter used the expression “as many as seven times" to signify the pinnacle of mercy. Lord Jesus Christ answers, "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:22)”.

March 04, 2022
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4 months ago

John Outen

4 months ago
Pray for peace in Ukraine and Russia and ourselves. May we help the refugees that we too find shelter.
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