Forgive everyone for everything

“As much as is possible, forgive everyone for everything, staying mindful of the great mystery that is every human being.”  ~  Stephen Freeman

I adore how Fr. Freeman began this sentence. My own idea is to forgive everyone for everything and yet, I know that I am incapable of accomplishing anything close to that goal. More to the point, though, is the question of what my forgiveness is to accomplish.

Miroslav Volf

Miroslav Volf

“Those who forgive them recognize  and affirm their guilt. Yet at the same time, they lift its burden from  the shoulders of the offenders.”  ~  Miroslav Volf

Dr. Volf, you have drawn out something which too many of us give no attention. Our forgiveness, whether accepted or not, burns with that accusation of guilt. This is part of the Early Church Fathers’ speaking of our need to seek forgiveness from God and others before taking the step of confronting anyone with an offering of forgiveness for their wrong of us.


…forgive everyone for everything…

As much as is possible, forgive everyone for everything, staying mindful of the great mystery that is every human being.”  ~ Stephen Freemansfreeman


Forgiveness is the deepest and truest conflict of our walk with God. This hit, profoundly, with my son’s suicide. My needing to forgive his girlfriend, being one of several catalysts, in losing him forced me beyond just wading into forgiving. I am confident that this young lady did little more with my forgiveness than to dry her eyes. The immediate crisis is gone and we’ve walked four years down the path. My forgiveness must be crumpled in the bottom of her purse.

Why do I project that onto her? In part, because the pain is real and because, as of this point, I have caught wind of no changes in her. I see this for more reasons than a vengeful desire to have her graveling at my feet. As of this moment, there are no signs of her doing any part of what accepting forgiveness means.

Forgiveness is not a legal acquittal. My having forgiven her for being one of several spurs prodding Dan to end his life means more than my foregoing her delinquency. I forgave that young lady wishing, wanting and hoping to, at least, hear about her establishing a sense of guilt. A sense of conscience wanting to change for itself and not for me. A need for alteration of lifestyle and relationships so that the conflicts she instigates dwindle away.


Fr. Freeman

Fr. Freeman

“The false reality posited by the secular worldview, when unchallenged by the Christian life, presents an atmosphere that is toxic to the life of believers.” ~ Fr. Stephen Freeman






The deepest challenge we face is not a correction of other’s lives, but a sinking of our own illusions; the dissolving of the pretense we believe in.