The trans-formative power of forgiveness

November 27, 2017


FORGIVENESS - we all know how important it is to forgive others and ourselves.  We also know how extremely difficult it can be - much easier to put it off! 


But what if you had a  step by step guide on how to 'do' forgiveness written by an esteemed  author that has learned to forgive in some of the most heinous circumstances and has even made forgiving somewhat of an art? 


Guest Blogger, Christine Canino does a beautiful job of reviewing: The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu.


Christine: "Powerful! This book is a life changer. A paradigm shifter!"


Forgiveness is so important and something that is at times hard to get our heads around. We all know we have to forgive. Not forgiving can cause spiritual, mental and physical damage. It is important to get this forgiving thing right!


The book describes a four-step process of forgiveness:

  1. Telling the Story

  2. Naming the Hurt

  3. Granting Forgiveness

  4. Renewing or Releasing the Relationship

Each step is explained in detail with stories of actual events, exercises, journaling questions and meditations. The authors suggest very specific steps to guide us through the process.

For example, in the ‘Naming the Hurt’ step, it is important to realize that when we are hurt we often lose something. It is normal to grieve that loss and to walk through the steps of grieving. It is important to grieve and not deny the pain. If the grieving process is denied, it can lead to self destruction. By learning from the experience, we can let the experience transform us, not make us a perpetual victim.


 “Your suffering can embitter you or ennoble you, it’s your choice.”


How? The authors go on to explain that you can become a richer, deeper person by your suffering, especially when you help others with their suffering.


Perhaps surprisingly, the authors explain that it can be harder to ask a person to forgive you then to actually forgive. Much healing can occur when the wrong is admitted. If I choose NOT to admit my wrongs, they will haunt me. By admitting them and asking for forgiveness, only then I can move on to self forgiveness.


Forgiveness will transform the painful past into a hopeful future. I highly recommend this book for both learning how to forgive and for asking for forgiveness.


Christine Canino is a wife, mother, and 3rd Order Carmelite.  Christine created Spirit of Catholic Success to facilitate growth in all areas of life: spirit, mind, and body. 

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