The Best of Pope Francis on Forgiveness

This is the fifth week of a Lenten series. Today, we meditate on Pope Francis’ words as they relate to forgiveness. 

By: Erin Healy

forgiveness Lent blog

Forgiveness and family: 

In the Year of Mercy, every Christian family can become a privileged place on this pilgrimage for experiencing the joy of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the essence of the love which can understand mistakes and mend them. How miserable we would be if God did not forgive us! Within the family we learn how to forgive, because we are certain that we are understood and supported, whatever the mistakes we make.

― Pope Francis, Angelus, December 26, 2015

Practicing forgiveness not only saves families from divisiveness, but makes them capable of helping society to be less heartless and less cruel. Yes, each act of forgiveness fixes the cracks in the house and strengthens its walls.

― Pope Francis, General Audience, November 4, 2015

There is a simple secret to healing wounds and to avoiding recriminations. It is this: do not let the day end without apologizing, without making peace between husband and wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters… between daughters- and mothers-in-law! If we learn to apologize promptly and to give each other mutual forgiveness, the wounds heal, the marriage grows stronger, and the family becomes an increasingly stronger home, which withstands the shocks of our smaller or greater misdeeds.

― Pope Francis, General Audience, November 4, 2015



Forgiveness and God:

God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.

― Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium

Let us remember this, it will be good for us: if we wish to progress in faith, first of all we must receive God’s forgiveness; we must meet the Father, who is willing to forgive all things, always, and who precisely in forgiving heals the heart and rekindles love. We must never tire of asking for divine forgiveness, because only when we are forgiven, when we feel we are forgiven, do we learn to forgive.

― Pope Francis, Angelus, December 26, 2015

Indeed, it is precisely in receiving forgiveness from God that we in turn are capable of forgiving others.

― Pope Francis, General Audience, November 4, 2015

Photo By Jeffrey Bruno CC BY-NC 2.0 via Aleteia

Forgiveness and prayer: 

Forgiving, however, is not an easy thing, it is always very difficult. How can we imitate Jesus? From what point do we begin to pardon the small and great wrongs that we suffer each day? First of all, beginning with prayer, as St. Stephen did. We begin with our own heart: with prayer we are able to face the resentment we feel, by entrusting to God’s mercy those who have wronged us: “Lord, I ask you for him, I ask you for her.”

– Pope Francis, Angelus, December 26, 2015

Indeed, true witnesses are those who act as He [St. Stephen] did: those who pray, who love, who give, but above all those who forgive, because forgiveness, as the word itself says, is the highest expression of giving.

– Pope Francis, Angelus, December 26, 2015

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