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Sep 18, 2020


Forgiveness without limits has been described as the panacea for a very peaceful world where love, holiness of life and the common good would be given priority attention in all human endeavours. This assertion was made by Rev. Fr. Isaac Dugu, the Director of Pastoral Agents department, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the 24th Sunday for the Church Year; held at the St Gabriel Chaplaincy, Durumi, Abuja.


According to the CSN Director, “forgiveness is not only a Christian virtue but fundamentally also, a human virtue”, therefore, there is need to cultivate the virtue for a peaceful world. He added: “.  Forgiveness is an attitude that is meant to be cultivated by all, irrespective of one’s religion, political affiliation and ideologies. Forgiveness enhances our peaceful co-existence with one another. Just in the same manner as no human relationship is ever possible without the willingness to forgive hurts, insults, and betrayals, God also will forgive and answer our prayers based on our disposition to forgive the faults, hurts, insults and offences of others.”


Using the readings of the day to assert his position, Fr. Dugu stressed the need to differentiate issues from the personality of the person we are in disagreement with. His words: Brothers and sisters in Christ, one other thing that can generate a serious quarrel among brothers, friends, colleagues, or family is when we disagree on one and the same issue. A husband and wife can have disagreement for instance on the type of school their child should attend, the course the child should read in university, the kind of wife or husband the child should marry, or what to do with family income and so on.”


He continued: “, let us remember the fact that someone who does not agree with your opinion and worldview does not necessarily mean he or she truly hates you. It is important we become aware of this reality. As we engage with one another on issues that can trigger disagreements, let us always remember to distinguish the issues under contention from the persons we disagree with. We can disagree on many issues and on countless times and still remain the best of friends. However, despite this reality, the human mind is frail and time and again, disputes could arise. So, in the midst of this frailty, we find it difficult to accept this distinction, so, we allow ourselves to be enslaved by anger, resentment, annoyance and hatred towards one another”


While noting that Christian forgiveness has no limit, the CSN Director alerted that: “A lot of human relationships have also been destroyed as a result of lack of forgiveness. When we fail to forgive others, we destroy the relationship we have with people, and we even hurt ourselves more because we still carry the hurt on our minds. One who refuses to forgive, suffers more than the offender. Lack of forgiveness has led to many broken marriages.”


He therefore urged the faithful to imbibe this Christian virtue of forgiveness and let their forgiveness be devoid of rituals but from the heart. “Our forgiveness should not be conditional”, he concluded.

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