Fondazione Zoé

Forgiveness is the automatic negation of damages.

The time of the family is a time of giving (of one’s self). A man and a woman are together as long as they are each for the other. Completely. Otherwise they prevent to together (a rare thing). But live for each other means that each other is the end or purpose. I am indeed for another only if in some way I offer myself to them as someone who can use me and thus is my master. It is not a way to gain something else. I am obviously speaking of something from deep within us, which does not always see the light of day. Moreover it is a hidden dimension, a sort of continual bass, which accompanies the movements of a melody. A man and a woman make a family giving each other reciprocally, even the gift of their intimacy. This is why their gift is a son. In their son they find themselves again as children of life, because in their son they find a continuation of their lives.

The time of the family is a time of forgiveness. We cannot live together without starting afresh when we make a mistake. And we cannot avoid making mistakes. Forgiveness is the simplest and quick answer. Making mistakes harms others and harms ourselves. The two sides of it are always together, because humans always live through relationships. We can make the harm we have done to ourselves better by asking for forgiveness, not from ourselves, as this is only metaphorical, but from others. We are always forgiven by others (and if by ourselves, ourselves as an other). And in the final instance, by our god. We can remedy this harm by asking those we have harmed to forgive us. In the family this is a daily rhythm of life, because in the family we spend morning to evening and evening to morning under the same roof. Or at least we intend to. If members do not forgive quickly, then life becomes impossible, a sort of nightmare where everyone is against everyone else in a desperate attempt at one-up-manship and vendetta. Forgiveness stops this sequence, because it is automatic negation of damages. A gesture that takes the weigh of the harm away, works against it and metabolises it and turn sit into good complicity. We can question if it is necessary to give unconditional forgiveness or we have to wait for an acceptance of guilt. Which seems pointless. Forgiveness can only be unconditional, because if it depends on the guilty person accepting their guilt, it would still seem like revenge. Indeed, it is a subtle form of vendetta.

Forgiveness is a gesture which welcomes a new relationship with no shadows. However, on the part of the forgiven person, forgiveness cannot work without repentance, which is equal to asking for forgiveness. But this may even come after.

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