Forgiveness is made possible by the knowledge that human beings cannot offer us what only God can give. Once we have heard the voice calling us the Beloved, accepted the gift of full communion, and claimed the first unconditional love, we can see easily—with the eyes of a repentant heart—how we have demanded of people a love that only God can give. It is the knowledge of that first love that allows us to forgive those who have only a “second” love to offer.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen, in Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past, compiled and introduced by Amy Lyles Wilson (Fresh Air Books, 2008)
What spiritual practice helps you claim God’s unconditional love and accept the limitations of human love? Join the conversation.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 8:38-39 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
(This week’s prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13, NIV.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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