Archive for September 23rd, 2022

Offered Forgiveness


Written by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), a British author, professor, and lay theologian. This is an excerpt from his essay “Fern-Seed and Elephants.”

This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocation of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us!” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions.


Written by William Cleary, a contemporary Irish author and missionary.

You accept us–at times of self-doubt

Thank you, God of all,

Creator of our world,

For allowing us to be imperfectly made:

Because it makes us, if we are wise, forgiving.

Do you accept us as we are?

We condemn people too quickly:

We judge them for flawed thinking, disguised egotism,

Unworthy acquisitiveness, or skewed opinions.

But we can forgive them once we accept our own shadow,

And realize how well we ourselves fit

Into the ranks of a less than perfect human race.

You, Holy God, accept each of us,

Prophets tell us, just as we are:

Provided our moral judgments of others

Are reciprocally generous and compassionate.

Imperfection fits this evolving reality,

For the universe thrives on diversity,

Including random failure,

One of the very preconditions for the unfolding advances.

May it be so. Amen.

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