Sunday, January 07, 2007


In the book “The Proof” by Dick Francis, the hero repeatedly says “Constant forgiveness destroyed the Soul.” It makes sense: If someone is constantly being forgiven and pardoned, they are made to feel incompetent. They are made to feel as if they have no value. They are made to feel worthless. If someone’s self perception is of no value, no worth, and no capability, how can they have a soul? How can they have any sense of themselves but unworthy. It makes sense.

Atonement is important. As humans we have to be responsible and acknowledge the consequences of our actions. We all know that we are responsible, on some level. When forgiven too often, it becomes as if our actions do not matter, that we do not matter. That does kill the soul.
Remember that. Forgiveness is important, but forgiveness without accountability is like
destroying the soul. Forgive, but let people learn from their experiences. Let them grow, challenge them and let them challenge themselves. That will keep the soul alive.

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Blogger Mary said...

Nice blog, Joyce -- much wisdom here and there on this page. But are you suggesting that forgiveness can be too freely offered? Hmm ... not according to the teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Rumi, Ghandi, Corrie ten Boom, Tecumseh, etc. I understand where you're coming from in saying what makes sense, but I submit that forgiveness is radical, contrary to all we've learned about how the world works, and therefore of immeasurable value. :)

One of my favorite quotes, from a poem by George Roemisch: "Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet which clings fast to the heel that crushed it." I doubt the violet assumes any responsibility for how, or even if, the gift is received or processed ... nor do we have to. Whew! Whether toward the woman who cut me off in traffic, the man who cut my hair too short, or the trusted friend or family member whose betrayal cut me to the core, once the intent to forgive crosses the threshhold of my heart, the work's all done.

Let's just haul off and forgive lavishly!

-Mary (Sullivan) Boren

January 19, 2007 3:55 PM  
Blogger jnap said...

Thanks Mary. You are right. I don't think forgiveness can be offered too freely. I am talking about the soul of the forgiven. I think being responsible or accountable is important. Acknowledgement. I want to be forgiven as much as possible, for everything I do that is not up to snuff. But, if I accept responsibility, want to correct or atone, let me. Don't discount me. Don't make me feel like changing, improving, correcting does not matter. It may not matter to you, the forgiver, but it does to me, the forgiven.

It's like giving and receiving. If you only ever give, you do not allow anyone else the opportunity to give. We all need to be able to give...But, to do that, someone needs to receive.

Growing up Catholic, we were taught that God (or what ever the name of your Supreme Being is) will forgive us our sins, all we have to do is ask. Asking represents acknowledgement. I think God forgives, whether or not we ask... But the point of acknowledging is that gives us the opportunity to grow as a person, learn something new, change, improve... And, if we don't keep doing that we do stagnate, we die...The soul withers....

January 20, 2007 6:47 AM  

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