| Peter Cook

Forgivenes

Introduction

Still breathing under water.

Someone said of the book 'Breathing Under Water' by Richard Rohr, that 'it is a great book to grab when you find yourself in any sort of addiction' (from substance addiction to compulsive behavior).

In this book, Father Rohr connects the 12 steps of the AA and the typical human journey of struggle and growth. In reading this book, it is possible to recognize your ‘human self’ easily. It helps refresh your perspective again so that you can get back on the path to a higher, spiritual self.

In our previous two blogs, we discussed some aspects of this book. But we still want to delve deeper!   

 

Richard Rohr on forgiveness

A personal story

‘It is one of the most powerful human experiences,' Richard Rohr once wrote, ‘to give and receive forgiveness.’   

In a blog on his website for the ‘Center for Action and Contemplation,’ he tells a personal story.   

His mother was dying, but for several days, she talked about a barrier, a 'mesh' that is holding her back. Father Rohr was telling her that he was going to miss her, but she wanted to hear that from her husband.

‘I am going to miss you,’ her husband came and told her.  

‘I don’t believe it,’ Mrs. Rohr told him.

This led her husband to go to the subject of forgiveness. 'I ask for your forgiveness,' he said, 'for all the times I’ve hurt you. I also forgive you for all the times you’ve hurt me.’ They’ve been married for 54 years.

Richard asked his mother if she could forgive his dad, too.  

'Say it,' he said to her. 'Tell Daddy that you forgive him too.'

But his mother could not do it. There are so many ways a couple can hurt each other over 54 years, and it was demonstrated in this way, on this woman's deathbed.

Then, Richard Rohr did a beautiful thing. He told his mom to put one of her hands on her heart and that he was going to pray for her heart to get 'real soft.' He prayed while kissing her other hand.

‘That melts me,’ his mother said. ‘Now I’ve got to do it.’  

She was able to say out loud that she forgave her husband for all he had done to her over the years that hurt her. She also asked for his forgiveness for all she had done to him.

‘That’s it. That is it’, she concluded. ‘That’s what I had to do.’ Mrs. Rohr was happy and fully ready for death.   

 

Conclusion

The power of forgiveness

Do you feel the power and grace of forgiveness in this story?   

Richard Rohr concluded his blog by saying that one should do it rather sooner than later. In forgiveness, one can be free – truly free of all the grudges and hurts we hold on to. With forgiveness, something new happens. You can live out your 'true self.' You need not wait for your deathbed to do it.  It is possible to start today.

In our next blog, we will explore more of this, specifically connected with the 12 steps and addiction. There are some compelling stories there, too!

 

Resources

https://cac.org/the-power-of-forgiveness-2017-08-27/

Find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Under-Water-Spirituality Twelve/dp/1616361573