Inside the BookReal ReviewsAbout J-RContact InfoAdvanced ForgivenessFree BookmarkPersonal StoriesAppearances & EventsAdditional ResourcesOrder the BookInterview with J-RWhat is Forgiveness?


Submit your story

F.Y.I. = Forgive yourself instantly. By doing this, you create an atmosphere to forgive others; therefore, you help to change the world and you and others can begin to have Heaven on earth. ....

II began a process more than five years ago to forgive. It has gotten easier--"practice makes perfect". On Valentine's Day 2001, I went to the mailbox as I do each day. This time, my life would be forever changed. There was an anonymous note saying how my husband of twenty-four years had been cheating on me. My knees began to shake and I felt my insides were turning inside out. I could not make it back to my house and I sat down on a bench not knowing what to do. To make a long story short, I told only one person; she was two thousand miles away. The following November, my best friend in Christ sent me a book about a woman's story of forgiveness. That is when I began my long and tedious journey of forgiveness. In November of 2002, I discovered the letter in the mailbox was true after confronting my husband several times. The most shocking thing was he and my "friend" of almost twenty years, had had an affair and had covered it up for eight years, all the while continuing to come and visit our family. Even to the extent where the two families would spend holidays and vacations together. It was not only a wound to me, but to both my sons. Now I am faced with a decision to forgive and be better or harbor unforgiveness and be bitter. Because of God's eternal love and grace, I chose the former. It was not a one- time, quick and easy, do it now and forget about it event. It was work, very difficult and laboring each minute of every waking moment, day after day, week after week, month after month. It was as though it was my full-time job and at times there was little or no payoffs. But, I knew I could not afford not to forgive. After several months and an infinite number of prayers, I wrote my "friend" a brief card and told her I forgave her. I experienced a liberty beyond my limited humanness. I knew forgiveness was a force I did not or could not be without. I began counseling to explore who I was and how to be responsible for my own choices and actions and I was not to blame my husband for his choices, only to forgive. The next year and a half would be one act of forgiveness after another. Going to marriage counseling would be to no avail. My husband wanted a divorce and so I forgivenly (perhaps a new word) filed and gave it to him. Even while we were in the courtroom, I felt God's peace and forgiveness(2006). At the present, forgiveness is a choice I must make each day, but the by products of peace and joy far out weigh the alternatives of hate and bitterness. I encourage all to choose forgiveness; it is the new "F" word which releases the principle of Christ's love from within. T.G.I.F.(thank God I forgive).

D.L.. San Antonio, TX

These days I usually read a minimum of three pages from the fantastic "FORGIVENESS" book by JOHN-ROGER ....

and when I finish, I begin anew.

I have learned that self judgments EJECT the Christ from my heart...that THE CHRIST and self judgments are not compatable, and I use the daily reminders to make stronger my resolve to welcome the CHRIST into my heart each moment.

Thank YOU Father!! Thank YOU John-Roger!


I was informed of your website by my pastor at Lakewood Church just today. As soon as I got home I looked it up, I Love it! Now I would like to share a true story....

I grew up in a physically and mentally abusive family. My step-father was very controlling and had a substance addiction. Don't get me wrong, he was a hardworking, dependable man, but was not the same if he didn't have his preferred drug around. He raised four children that were not his own and one that was his. I was only two years old when he came into our lives. He was very jealous with my mother, I guess his insecurity came because of their age difference.

My mother told us that she only stayed for us kids and was waiting for us to grow up so she could leave him. Well, that day came to pass. I left the house at age 17 pregnant. During my eighth month of pregnancy I got the dreaded call. My mother had left and had decided to leave my little brother (age 14) with his father since she was told that if she ever left and took his son that he would kill us all.

After a few weeks of keeping in contact with my sister and little brother we heard my mother ended up in Chicago with my aunt and her first husband. Two weeks later I got a call saying my mother was in the hospital where she was in critical condition with 5 bullet wounds.

I got on the first flight out to Chicago thanks to my father, mother and sister in-law who scheduled and paid for it all. When I got to the airport, my 2 sisters and one of my brothers were waiting for me to take me straight to the hospital. I found out she had been there a week prior but they didn't want to tell me due to the fact that I was pregnant and they didn't want to scare me because something could happen to the baby.

The first time I saw my mother laying in the hospital bed, she had her head the size of a basketball and was truly the color purple. She had been in a coma and was not coherent that whole week. I went up to the bed and cried and called out "oh mommy." As soon as I uttered those words she opened her eyes to everyone's amazement. She whispered she had been waiting for me. (God only knows what she meant). The doctor called it a miracle and she was moved to a regular room.

God had spared her life. She had been shot twice in her head and 3 times in the back at point blank by my step-father. He was caught and sentenced to 22 years.

11 Years later they held court to see if he was eligible for release. My mother and my aunt were both there for the hearing and were heard. Even though my mother still has a bullet in the back of her head that is too delicate to remove but still traveling and her face is disfigured and her hands show the broken bones where natural instinct caused her to try to protect her face, my step-father was let out after serving only 11 years.

My mother has to take medication (Prozac) and now suffers from anxiety attacks. She is now blind in one eye where the bullet has traveled to her nerve and blocked her vision.

This past July we got a call from my step-father’s family members in Corpus Christi that our dad had cancer in his lungs, liver and kidneys. He was in his last days. My little brother rushed that same night and I got to go that next day.

After all my mother had gone through she found it in her heart to travel those 4 hours to Corpus, to let my dying father know that she forgave him for all he did to her. He cried at just the sound of her voice. She was there on a Saturday and he passed away that following Monday, July 27 @ 8:45am. I am so proud of my mom, not just by her teaching that we must forgive, but that she taught us by example what true forgiveness is all about.

I believe that my step-father would not have died peacefully as he did, but by receiving my mothers forgiveness his Spirit was not entangled with bondages that would tie him to this world.

My mother forgave him, not just for his sake but for her sake also.

We can do all things through God who strengthens us.


It was only because of God....

I had divorced my ex-husband 18 years ago because of 9 years of physical abuse. While I had not ended up in the hospital ever because of the abuse, it did cause me to lose any self esteem I had, I became suicidal and was constantly depressed. I divorced him after 9 years of marriage. I was about to lose my sanity (and my life). I had two children to raise and I could not afford to let them see any more abuse than they already had. So for their sake, I left. Even after my divorce I shook in the presence of my ex-husband or even if I saw him from a distance. For six years after the divorce I was still very bitter towards him. There was constant arguing, fighting over custody of the children. My ex-mother-in-law was very interfering and only made matters worse. But God is a God of suddenly. And both of our lives changed for the better (suddenly) one day in 1991. I had asked my ex-husband if I could borrow his car. He said, "I could be a real *** about this, but I wont" and he agreed to let me use the car. I dont know why that day was any different than any other time that I asked if he could help, but when he said yes, all the bitterness, hurt, fear and all the other angry feelings were gone. It was as if he had NEVER done anything to me. That is how I know it was true forgiveness. From that day on in 1991, we have been friends. I had no negative feelings whatsoever toward him. To this day, 12 years later, we are still good friends. I know that when I forgave him, it was God. Even though I remember a lot of the abuse, it does not stir up the old feelings--there is no pain, fear, hurt or anything like that. Up to that point, I was too angry and hurt to forgive him. I didnt want to and didnt think I ever could forgive him. I have never experienced (before or since) 1991, forgiveness in that way. It has set us both free. I am so grateful that by the grace of God I made the choice to forgive. Had I held on to all the garbage from the marriage, I dont think my children would be as happy as they are today and I am sure I would have been very physically ill. My health was getting worse just before I left. Forgiveness (true and total) brings freedom to both parties. God is so awesome. Make a choice to forgive the ones who have hurt you. Not just a mental choice, "I choose to forgive so-and-so" and then holding on to the hurt, but make a choice from the heart. A choice to completely wipe the slate clean--unconditionally--and yes even if they cant forgive you and even if they cant receive your forgiveness. Please remember, you will always have memories, but having a memory of something is not the same as remembering for the sake of using it against a person. That is nothing but pure spite. You know you have truly forgiven someone when: you can be in their presence or be in a conversation about them and you do not experience the negative feelings of the past; when you remember an incident and not use it against the offender; when you can see them face to face without any negative, fearful, or painful feelings.


It had been twelve years since I had seen or talked to anyone in my family...

I had a wonderful family of my own now; my husband's family. His mother became "Mother" and his brothers and their families became everything to me. One day, as I was searching the Internet, I came across an obituary that was over three years old. It was an obituary for my oldest brother. My heart felt like it would pound out of my chest. I could not believe it! I had to read it over and over again and still it seemed it couldn't be true. Since my mother had moved in with my brother many years ago, I wondered how she was getting along. Was she still at his house with his wife and children or had they moved out? Had she moved? I had to find out. I called the telephone number I found for her on the Internet. My brother's youngest daughter, now grown, answered the telephone. Through the short conversation, she informed me that my mother had been put into a nursing home over two years ago. As tears welled up in my eyes, I knew that I had to finally forgive and forget and go see her. I made the short hour trip to the nursing home where my mother was. The last time I saw my mother, she was a robust 225lb woman, full of life and meaner than a wet cat. Imagine my surprise when I was led to a room that had a little tiny woman who weighed around 80 pounds. Had it not been for the fact that the hospital administrator took me to the right room, I would have never recognized my own mother. She didn't know me at first due to her illness. After about 30 minutes, she realized that I was her baby girl. Through the tears and sadness, we managed to find our breaths and find words to assure each other that love between a mother and daughter never dies. I told her I had come for her forgiveness and with tears in her aged eyes, eyes that had turned cloudy from the years, she whispered "there was never anything to forgive my darling". God has restored our relationship, along with our love and ability to live. Forgiving someone and receiving their forgiveness drives out demons in your life you didn't know were there. Replacing darkness with Light allows only love to grow. I would encourage anyone, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them and allow yourself, and them, to get on with the business of loving each other before it ends up entirely too late for both of you.


I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer last March...

Since than I have undergone a total thyroidectomy and radiation therapy. My body isn't what it used to be. I tire easily and become so weak that there are days when I can't seem to find the energy to shower. I reminisce about my earlier days when my health was hardly a concern and my days were spent foolishly and my hours were taken for granted. The reflection in the mirror isn't the size 5 I normally carried my soul in. My body has gone through some major changes, as well as my spirit, mind and soul. In these unexpected events I have learned to forgive myself for not taking the time to cherish, love and nurture myself, not ever knowing I would find myself where I have found myself today. I have learned to accept that this is where I need to be, and that through the forgiveness and self love have I learned to be able to cherish my today and tomorrows.


There was this time, when i made a big mistake...

There was this time, when I made a big mistake. It wasn't to harm anyone, it was to harm myself. And when my parents found out, they were so deeply hurt that Iwish I had died, which I nearly did. I remember the doctor saying you're a miracle. I never thought you'd make it. My parents cried a lot and Ifelt so ashamed that Ishared their tears. And they forgave me. And I'm glad they did because the only thing that holds me down on earth is my family.
All I want to say is that "when you wanna be forgiven forgive first!"

I grew up in a family that many would call dysfunctional...

I understand now that there were at least two people suffering from mental illness.Neither one has ever been diagnosed so I had to do a great deal of research and doing some guessing by the symtoms my two relatives displayed. You see, I was the brunt of their anger and frustration. I became their punching bag,as well as their object of ridicule and resentment. I can not ever remember a kind word being spoken to me by anyone in my family. I seemed to be responsible for everything that was wrong, even if I wasn't even present when things happened. Needless to say that I suffered deep depression and anxiety later on in my life. Even before I started therapy, I received some insight regarding my relatives situtions. I realized one day that they did not get up each morning and decide how they were going to make my day miserable. Somehow they could not face their problems as belonging to them. Understanding this I found my burden starting to lift. I started to practice forgiving them. A while later I was reading the story where Jesus tells Peter that he must forgive 70 times 7. Figuring out how many times that was, I practiced forgiving my relatives every day for over a year and a half. I'm not sure that it changed them. but it had a profound affect on me. These two people still live at the level of distress they were at when they were young. Neither one has ever sought help for their problems. Yet in caring for myself, I have found that the symptoms of mental illness in my own life, have left me. Forgiving is a profound act of courage. I consider it to be a very selfish one as well. Today I have a peace of mind and a sense of wellbeing that allowes me to face difficulties with a sense of courage and wisdom I have always longed for. I have had to face a physical disability which my family consistantly denied I had. One of the most startling statements I can say with assurance is that I am right with God. In learning to bless those who would harm me, I have obeyed the will of God in my life. Blessings to all you who are practicing this most profound lesson.


I have had feelings of hatred towards...

a certain somebody since I was 7. We were best friends (or so I thought) and she would tell people lies about me and tell me lies about them. She had a sleepover once and made me sleep on the living room couch while the other girls slept in her room---her parents didn't care...that's only one incident....but to make a long story short, it turns out that I've been harboring these feelings inside of me, letting them ferment and become more potent. Every time I look at her I feel anger towards her; I feel frustration, and most of all, I feel hurt, because I am constantly reminded of what she did to me (at that time, I was 6....and I was depressed---{a side note to all parents----you better catch the signs of depression in a child early or it could lead to awful consequences}).
I recently attended a leadership seminar and the issue of forgiveness came around...I had thought about what we were reading and realized that when we are young, we are constantly told to forgive people...but we are never told what TRUE forgiveness I brought it up...and as our Discussion Leader explained, my eyes welled up with tears as I thought about this girl...I could see her face in my head and I realized that the reason why I had been feeling so much toward her was because deep down in my heart, I hadn't forgiven her! The DL suggested that I should do some soul-searching on forgiveness, which is what had brought me to this web page. I decided that since only I will benefit from forgiving her (not to be selfish---I just want to be free of these feelings I have toward her) I had might as well do this. I just want to say that after reading other people's stories and comments, I have become more and more strong and confident to do what I need to do. This website is an awesome resource to us,. and what's best is that its creators are so generous to allow so many people to benefit from it free of charge (God bless them)...I'm excited to receive my bookmark and am ready to sit down and forgive her in my heart (you don't have to tell a person that you're forgiving them...). Forgiveness is the ability to reopen the lines of communication with those that have hurt you. And a quote to leave you with is "Forgiveness is the fragrance of the flower left on the shoe that crushed it."


I was 29 years old, full of anger and unforgiving...

a homosexual, Satanist, alcohol, druggie{cocaine}. I have an older brother with whom I had a war relationship. You see he served God and the world was my oyster. I as well had a taste for killing my Dad and older brother for the things they had done to my Mother unjustly and to the family. I could write a novel just on that subject and still not cover the depths of hate I had within. In October of 1993 God showed up on my soul and His love was so overwhelming how could I deny His existence? That night my older brother and I locked arms in tears for the light of forgiveness had shown in my heart to a God I hated with all my heart, and showed me how much He loved me, how could I not forgive my brother, and find forgiveness for my soul? I would like to say if you think you hate God look into the mirror of truth and you will find hate does not exist in His heart for you!



I hadn't just wanted to murder the guy, I was actually planning it out. He had stolen...

all of my money and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to the charity we were raising funds for. The resulting stress caused my marriage to fail and at 47 I found myself broke, homeless, alone and without hope. I decided I didn't want to live any more, but I was not going to leave alone. I was going to take him with me.

The night before I would execute my plan, I contemplated the events of my life. That is when I remembered a spiritual event that took place 15 years before. That, in itself, is a long story involving a transformation to a pure state of energy and communicating with another, more knowledgable, being in the same state. I rememberd that I was told of many events that would take place in my life and this was one of them. I was also told that every event in life is a spiritual lesson.

Contemplating my lessons, I realized that this lesson was one I had not fully learned. This was the lesson of forgiveness. I realized that my adversary was not the man who had stolen from me, but my hatred for him... my insistance on clinging to physical posessions of pride and money with no regard for the reality of my being. I remembered that we all are students learning that harmony is the only true posession that has value and that posession can only be had by not posessing it, but giving it to others, either directly, or in our perception of them as spiritual beings like ourselves.

That night I forgave, in my heart, the man I had planned to murder, realizing he was no worse and no better than myself... just another being who doesn't know how to live within the harmony of spirituality, or Love as most know it. And as such, prone to violence when physical acts do not fulfill spiritual needs.

Through that act, I came to a consciousness that allowed me to forgive myself as well and with it came a freedom of being I had not known previously. New harmony filled me, entirely changing the way everything looked, felt, smelled, tasted, sounded... and my physical living conditions transformed miraculously.

Forgiveness is not a gift to another. It is a gift to yourself.

At some point in my life I realized...

that I had hurt myself so deeply by judging myself that there was a part of me that had withdrawn its support because of the hurt I had inflicted on myself. I began to daily, throughout the day, saying "I forgive myself for judging myself." That part of me that was hurt sneered and said "yeah, sure," and turned its back on me. It took three months for that part to finally believe that I just 'might' mean what I said. There was a small spark of joy inside at that point. However it took another three months + to completely win that part over so that it would aggain support me. I watch my self-judgements very carefully now because I realize that these are the judgements that hurt the most.

It is a great virtue that you are of service to many nations

from around the world. Keep on this way. Thank you very much in advance.
A.K., Zhydachivdistrict, L'vivregion, Ukraine

Forgiveness is especially important right now,
with the spate of school shootings. We should never forget that the shooters are nothing but disturbed children themselves, and forgive them.
L.S., Lemoore, CA, U.S.A.

When you forgive someone

it doesn't help them nearly as much as it helps you.
D.R., Des Moines, WA, U.S.A.

It is always good to forgive

because you never know when you will be the one who needs forgiveness.
P.V., Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A.

I think the best thing a person can do

is to be able to forgive themselves so they can forgive others.
C.K., Orrville, OH, U.S.A.

The moment when I forgave my husband

and my best friend for their affair was when the weight of the world came off my shoulders. I don't have very much contact with either of them, for my sanity. But I feel closer to myself than ever before.
G.W., Pine Bluff, AR, U.S.A.

Everyone needs forgiveness;

sometimes we need to remind ourselves to forgive as frequently as we ask to be forgiven!
M.D., Holbrook, NY, U.S.A.


I need to be constantly reminded
that forgiveness is beneficial for my total health.
P.K., Bellevue, OH, U.S.A.

I love
to forgive people
J.N., Kernersville, NC, U.S.A.

Thank you. I think it is saint
buisiness. Sorry, i speak english a little.
I.P., Kostomuksha, Karelia, Russia

This is by far the best site

that I have found. Thank you.
C.A., West Union, Ohio, U.S.A.

Forgiveness is the easy part!

Forgetting is much harder. I pray that this will inspire......Thank you and of course.GOD BLESS!!!!!
L.P., New Port Richey, FL, U.S.A.

Forgiveness is

the whole Bible in one word!
L.W., Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Love & forgive,

remember the good let go of the bad, build up on positive smile and laugh and the sun will brighten up your life
M.J., Rishon Le Zion, , Israel

All of my life I have had to forgive

for things and growing up it was hard for me to learn about true forgiveness.. now that I am older I see that there are different types of forgiveness forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of things that are beyond our control.
J.G., La Mesa, CA, U.S.A.

It's funny,

but I feel better already. THANK YOU
M.M., Webb City, MO, U.S.A.

If everyone could forgive

that would be the key, wouldn't it, to just about everything.
J.S., Sacramento, CA, U.S.A.

I love this site,

It has shown me a place to look deeper within my soul.
E.P., Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I know how wonderful it is to forgive

others and yourself as well. I am a polio survivor from 1953, and have been living with Post Polio Syndrome for the past decade.
J.H., Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

What an impact that has

on an atheist. Thank you!
K.P., Harriman, New York, U.S.A.

We learn to forgive with time!

I am an Asian female of 23 years, and belong to a Muslim family. Although we are a very well knit family and there is a lot of love between the family members but an incident took place in my life, which drew me away from my family for a certain period of time.

I was 14 years old when I was engaged to the son of my mother's brother. I suppose 14 was not an age of maturity and like every other Muslim girl I did not say anything on this matter, quite the contrary I was pretty excited. My engagement lasted for two years and during this time I felt that my fiancée was not normal in many ways and so I developed a feeling of dislike towards him. Although I tried to talk to my parents on this matter, but their response was that I was too young to understand these things and they were doing the right thing for me. So I was married to him on the day I turned 17 and then the nightmare began.

In short I moved to another city after marriage, and lived with that person for exactly 2 months and 8 days. During this period I suffered from both physical and mental abuse by the hands of this person. He turned out to be a chain smoker and a drinker (both which are highly against Islam), and had a mental condition. Later about which I learned was a severe psychotic condition. I also miscarried due to this abuse, and my in laws stayed right there and watched saying do not worry everything is going to be fine. After nearly 70 days with this man I returned to my parents, and did not utter a single word about what had happened. They came to know later from my in laws.
Although I got divorced nearly a year later, but during this time, I was really very unstable, tried to commit suicide two times but did not succeed. Had to see a psychiatrist for nearly a year and the most important thing I could not forgive my parents and my grand parents for what they had done to my life although with time it grew less but was still there.

Later I continued my education and nearly 2 years ago I met a person who really brought me out of my shell. He turned out to be a very caring and loving person and a great friend. Who in his own way taught me to forgive and forget, who cares for me for what I am and does not give a damn about my past. Which may seem unusual as in foreign countries a divorce is no big thing but in third world countries and in my society a divorcee is considered to be very shameful. I am and will be ever grateful to him for helping me to forget and forgive my loved ones and for making me believe in LOVE. After finding such a wonderful person I can surely say that every morning is a new day which brings with it life, hope and happiness.

S., Pakistan

When it's hard to forgive someone for something they have done, it's best to look back on your own life.

Think about your past. Was there ever a time when you have done something (even unintentionally) that hurt someone else? Often, we are especially unwilling to forgive others when their actions remind us of our own. Think of how you would have wanted others to forgive you. This will help to put it all in perspective. Yes, this has happened to me. I have made mistakes in my past that I am not proud of. Forunately, growing up in a Christian household taught me the right way to ask for forgiveness. I have gone before God and my family sincerely asking for forgiveness. I know that God has forgiven me, as well as has most of my family. How sad is it now, even 13 years later, that one of my family members is not only unwilling to forgive, but anxious to mention past sins/mistakes over and over again? Yes, this person is guilty of the same mistake that they choose to keep condemning me for. I am at peace with myself, because I have done the right thing. I have forgiven them for being so harsh on me. My prayer is that they will forgive me and no longer harbor any ill feelings, so that they may move on. There is a saying, "Acid is more destructive on the vessel in which it is stored, than on the object on which it is poured." I hope that they will learn to forgive, and ultimately, find their own inner peace.

Forgiveness is the only way to self--freedom.

Not only forgive others, but also forgive yourself--it is much harder than the first one.
Set yourself free!

Letting go of bitterness is sometimes very hard to do.

You lose so much happiness by holding on and the person you become is a sorry example of what God intended us to be. Forgiveness is a soft cloud that lifts us back to the Heavens.
C.R., Shadyside, Ohio

This subject on Forgiveness is one of the most important issues

for us to achieve peace within and
D.C., Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Forgiveness is ones greatest gift to self.

T.G., Reading, Pennsylvania

Without forgiveness there is never a tomorrow.

R.C., Kanata, Ontario, Canada

As a pastor one of the key themes to my preaching is forgiveness.

I believe that bitterness is the cause of more destruction than any other single issue.
P.W., Dexter, Missouri

Thank you, & may the Almighty guide all of Mankind

towards being tolerant and forgiving.
F.C., Mayfair, South Africa

To forgive is to forget,

to forget is to start anew.
D.P., Bronx, New York

I think we all need a reminder

that at some point in our lives we all need to forgive and be forgiven.
S.M., Allenford, Ontario, Canada

This world would be a better place

if all could learn the art of forgiving.
S.W., Lansing, Michigan

Thank God for forgiveness.

D.W., Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Life is too short

to be pissed all the time.
M.B., Miami, Florida

Forgive others as God has Forgiven us all!

M.E., Whitesburg, Georgia

Today was a new beginning in my life.

I was saved by the grace of God almost 7 years ago and quit going to church about 5 months later. Well today I opened MY heart up again to God, realizing that it was I not him that left.
A.S., Sharps Chapel, Tennessee

This is a nice place to visit

and has given the opportunity to learn the skill of forgiveness.
L.J., Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Forgiveness is the best gift to get and give.........

V.G., Andalusia, Alabama

I believe forgiveness is

one of the most important gifts that god gave us.
T.S., Thonotosassa, Florida

Wouldn't it be great

if we all could forgive and forget!
R.K., Gardner, North Dakota

I have liver cancer

and I know how important it is to forgive.
L.T., Grand Prairie, Texas

Forgiveness is divine !!!

C.P., Irving, Texas

Forgiveness is an important part of healing.

L.S., Spring Lake, New Jersey

I think that your message on forgiveness

is some of the most profound messages of human emotion I have ever seen.
Y.M., Spring Valley, California

I think this is great. Thank you for another lesson

and reminder that we all need to learn to be forgiving, of others and of ourselves. God bless...
B.L., Muskegon, Michigan

I am working on forgiving myself.

Thank you for your site.
M.R., Cooper City, Florida

Any method used to encourage people to get along and be forgiving

is a step in the right direction.
T.S., Versailles, Missouri

Cool website, with an even cooler idea -

Forgiveness! It's very enlightening, indeed
S.L., Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Great site, everyone needs to go here,

there are so many people holding grudges in the world today they need to forgive one another.
J.B., Warren, Ohio

This site came to me at a good time.

My boyfriend broke up with me this weekend and I suppose I need to forgive him, because he was only doing what he felt was right.
J.G., Willoughby, Ohio

A necessary source of inspiration

at a time when many are desperately in need of it.
J.S., Green Brock, New Jersey

I really enjoy your site!!!

Forgiving is a very hard thing to do, BUT, it is the best. I believe people will become happier and stronger people, when they forgive.
K.C., Hohenwald, Tennessee

Great page...

something to inspire people in forgiving their enemies, etc.
V.T., Sarawak, Malaysia

So real, it's unbelievable -

it touched my heart
R.H-C., Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Beautiful and stunning.....

simply stunning
J.F., Wayne, New Jersey

The way this world is going,

we need more sites like yours.
P.S., Saskatoon, Canada

I really enjoyed your site.

Thanks for putting something positive out there.
P.A.F., MacDill AFB, Florida

Learning to forgive changed my life...

in a lot of ways. It frees me to say yes I still want you in my life; it leaves the relationship open with the ability to grow stronger. Not forgiving binds me in an unhealthy way, it gives the other person POWER (unhealthy power) over me......

I thought I had forgiven...

What I have read here leads me to believe that I need to rethink the quality of my forgiveness.

My father was a rageoholic...

a man with a short fuse and very much a control freak. I grew up and lived in fear of his explosive behaviors that usually came with physical and verbal abuse.

To make it all the more confusing he was a minister of Christian denomination. How could a man of God be so angry? In short,I moved out at 18 and keep my distance for many years. After several years of therapy I learned and understood my family dynamics and dysfunction. I am still working hard on the acceptance of it all.

Anyway, the day came when my Father was placed in a nursing home. One day I was visiting him and it was hard to experience seeing him weak and vulnerable as I had once been. We sat mostly in silence or me just asking idle questions, trying to fill the awkward void. Suddenly, out of nowhere he said to me "I am sorry for being so,so..." and he dropped his shoulders and hung his head in shame, he could'nt get the words out. I knew what he meant, exactly what he was talking about. I told him it was okay that I loved him and I understood. It was one of the most healing and loving days of my life, to know that yes, he acknowledged his behavior and that he was indeed sorry for it. I can't begin to explain the release, the freedom that it provided for me. The forgiveness that came to me was overwhelming, all those years of pain were washed away in an instant. All the time and money spent on counseling could'nt touch what I felt by hearing his words.

A few weeks later, my Dad passed away and I was there at his bedside holding his hand. Later,I was deeply moved to read all the sympathy cards that shared the stories telling of the good work and the positive influence that my Father contributed to so many in his lifetime. It still boggles my mind how a man that devoted himself to God and humanity could be so full of rage and behave so very differently at home- we hid the family secret well. We have since come to the conclusion that he was manic depressive and in those days little was known about the illness and more than most likely he would have not sought treatment anyway. Denial is very potent.

I loved my Dad, because he was my Father and I know in my heart that he loved me and that he did the best he could. He taught me how to pray, one of the most valuable gifts anyone has ever given to me. And, I will forever be grateful to him at the age of 71, for having the courage to say the words "I'm sorry". They are indeed, two of the most powerful and healing words in the Universe.

I'm going to buy this book...

for a friend who has not gotten over a very bad relationship that ended 3 years ago; in fact, he asked me yesterday 'how to forgive' her.

Seeing your ad in People Magazine...

has given me the push that I needed to pursue the path of forgiveness. Someone who I loved very deeply hurt many repeatedly, and I know that in order to move on with my life, I must learn to forgive. Thank you for your inspiring words.

This is a real service...

Thank you for using technology to spread this valuable information to all.

I was on the web site and found out about this book...

The reviews I've read so far has been great. I'm on my way to the book store now to buy this book. If they don't have it I will order from the web site. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

This makes learning...

to use the internet worthwhile.

If you've seen any pictures of the Vietnam War...

you've probably seen this picture. A 9 year old Vietnamese girl, her clothes burned off by napalm, is fleeing an American-led assault on her village. She is running toward the camera, her mouth open wide in terror and incomprehensible pain.

For John Plummer, that picture is forever a part of him. He was the American chopper pilot responsible for raining fire that day on the village of Trang.

The next day when that picture hit the front pages, John Plummer was devastated by it. For 24 years he carried the image of that burned and terrified girl in his mind.

Three marriages, two divorces, a severe drinking problem - and then the TV newscast that night that showed that girl's picture again - and then showed that woman today, now living in Toronto. That was the first John Plummer even knew the girl who had haunted his conscience for so long was still alive. He learned her name was Kim Phuc, now 33 years old. He watched and saw the thick white scars the splashing napalm had left on her neck and arm and back. He learned she had 17 operations but still lives with pain.

Not long before, John's long struggle led him to surrender his life to God. And now he wanted to face Kim. Providentially, he got that opportunity at a Veterans Day observance at the Vietnam War Memorial. Kim was the speaker.

When she finished, John Plummer fought his way through the crowd to try to reach her. He did. This time, there was no news photographer to take the picture - but it was an unforgettable moment. John told Kim who he was and she just opened her arms to him. He fell into her arms sobbing. All he could say was, "I'm so sorry. I'm just so sorry." And the woman with the scars from what he had done patted his back and said these words, "It's all right. I forgive. I forgive."

Those are two words that you may need to hear. From the One you have hurt the most. From the One who bears the scars of what you did. The words - "I forgive." We've all done things we're not proud of - things we wish we could erase from our conscience. We know it's called sin. And though there may not be a photograph to haunt us, we still carry the weight, the guilt, the regret of all those "sins". "I forgive." Those words are not cheap, it has the power to chase away all the hates. It can make enemies become friends again... Most of all, it turns hate to love.

One of the most touching stories I ever read...

I think one of the most touching stories of forgiveness I ever read about was, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago reconciling with the young man, Steven Cook, who had accused him of sexual abuse and then recanted after the Cardinal had endured a lot of painful media attention.

I saved the May 5, 1995 SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE story I read to remind me of the power of forgiveness and the loving that it can open up when it is done so fully. Here are some excerpts from that story:

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago: "I kept thinking to myself, I want to reconcile with this man."

On a sunny afternoon on the next to the last day of 1994, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago stood face to face with his former accuser. They embraced.

"It was not awkward at all", remembers Bernardin. "We embraced each other and began talking."

Not awkward, but also not simple.

On Tuesday afternoon in a hotel room overlooking Mission Bay, Bernardin quietly recounted his Dec. 30 reconciliation with Steven Cook, the man who turned the cardinal's world upside down when he falsely accused Bernardin of sexual abuse.

It is a story of pain, anger, forgiveness and redemption. It began in November 1993, when Bernardin learned that he was being sued by a man who claimed that Bernardin and another Catholic priest, the Rev. Ellis Harsham, sexually abused him nearly 20 years ago.

Cook, an unemployed mental-health counselor who has AIDS, claimed in his lawsuit that he was abused between 1975 and 1977 when he was a high school student attending a program at a Cincinnati seminary. Harsham was a teacher at the seminary, and Bernardin was Cincinnati's archbishop.

Bernardin says his first reaction was "a state of wonderment: How could this be happening to me?"

He knew he was innocent. "From the very beginning, I felt that somehow he had been pressured into this." Bernardin's next reaction was anger: "Why did you do this to me? Look at what you caused."

The news media, says Bernardin, "really swarmed in on me. Within minutes, it went around the world."

His response then is the same as now: "I was innocent of the charges he brought against me."

The first two reactions, he says, were short-lived. His third reaction came within days of the lawsuit. "The pastoral care kicked in," Bernardin says. "I felt sorry for him."

Within two weeks of the accusations, Bernardin says he sent Cook a letter about his innocence and asked if he could pray with him.

Bernardin never received a reply. Instead, in February 1994, three months after filing the lawsuit, Cook cleared Bernardin. Cook said his memories about the then-archbishop's involvement, memories captured through hypnosis, were unreliable.

But for Bernardin, there was something missing: spiritual closure.

"I kept thinking to myself, I really want to reconcile with this man," he says.

Here was Bernardin, the son of Italian immigrants who had risen to become the spiritual head of the second-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the country. He was ordained a priest in 1952, consecrated a bishop in 1966 and elevated to cardinal in 1983.

He had distinguished himself as a leader in investigating allegations of abuse by priests only to become the highest ranking U.S. church leader accused of sexual improprieties.

And yet he wanted to reconcile with a man who nearly destroyed a reputation built over four decades?

Bernardin, who turned 67 last month, smiles. "For all those four decades I'd been preaching forgiveness and reconciliation."

So the meeting was arranged in Philadelphia, where Cook lives. Bernardin brought along another priest. Cook brought along a friend.

Cook apologized. Bernardin gave him a Bible. "He grabbed it and began to cry, Bernardin recalls.

Bernardin celebrated Mass with Cook and his friend in a chapel. Cook, who was hesitant about the Mass, because he felt alienated from the church, told the Chicago Tribune afterward that it was a "wonderful ceremonial experience. It was healing to see a cardinal of the church standing there, having Mass with two gay men in a chapel. It felt very loving and accepting."

Says Bernardin: "When it was over, I said to Steven, 'I have no intention of going to the media with this, but somebody will find out' . . . He smiled and said, 'Tell the story.'"

Bernardin told it the next week in a four-page written account that he titled "A Story of Reconciliation."

"Never in my 43 years as a priest have I witnessed a more profound reconciliation," Bernardin wrote.

He described it as a "grace-filled meeting which brought closure and peace to both of us."

On Tuesday [May 1995], as Bernardin answered questions in San Diego, the death toll in the April 19 bombing in Oklahoma City, reached 141, including 15 children. Dozens were still missing.

"You have to be a believer in order to be able to deal with it," Bernardin says, "to cope with it in a productive way."

As for him and Steven Cook, 35, their story is not over. Bernardin keeps in telephone contact. They last spoke about two weeks ago.

"His health," says Bernardin, "is not very good."

Submit your story


Order the bookGet your free bookmarkHomeShare your thoughts

© 1998 Mandeville Press. All rights reserved.
This site by ICA