By By Rev. Fr. Rommel M. Arcilla
Forgiveness, Our Power to Love
posted 14-Sep-2019  ·  
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There is never a perfect relationship in our human sphere. As Martin Luther King Jr. puts it: “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.” We all know that, time and again, we commit mistakes and sometimes we are able to do things, intently or not, that can hurt other people even those whom we consider as friends, and this can be so tragic.

I have so many friends (and some enemies, too) and all I ever wanted is to care and protect them and make them happy, if not all the time. I always try my best to make myself available if they need me to listen to them, even if their story seem to be static and has been played over and over again. If they are lonely, I sometimes get affected and feel their loneliness. If they are happy, that’s the time I always end up drunk because I shared their happiness. If they are out for war, I also prepare myself and get ready for war because, for me, friends are friends and we need to stick it out together through thick and thin. But, relationships, even with friends, are not perfect and problems and misunderstandings would set in and disrupt everything that had been built through the years.

I have so many friends but just a handful of those whom I consider close friends. Just a few weeks ago I had a misunderstanding with one of my closest friends and up until this time I am hurting because of his deafening silence. I miss those times that he would call me just because he’s got no one else to talk to. Gone were the days when he would just pick me up anytime and go to places I have never been before and just enjoying each other’s company. We both laughed at some silly and corny jokes and now, those simple joys in life were gone… I hope not forever.

I must admit, though, that maybe it was all my fault (because of my big mouth). I sincerely asked for forgiveness and I don’t know if it was given to me. However, I just want to assure my dearest friend that whatever happened, it was never my intention to hurt him or put him down. I thought we both know each other so well and I thought those jokes were just fine because he knew me, a tactless joker with always the purpose of annoying the subject. I also had known him for quite some time already that’s why I never thought it would end up like this. So sorry, my friend.

I intentionally quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in my opening statement, not so much because of the truthfulness of his wise words, but because I was hoping that my friend would loosen up a bit of his anger upon reading this. I do not need to put his name over this article because he will always know that this is for him. If he will still not forgive me for whatever it is that I have done which may have pained him a lot, I therefore conclude that he simply does not have yet that power to love. Of course, I know that he is so loving and that’s why I am looking forward that he will call me soon.

Well, this is not really an open letter to that unnamed friend of mine. I decided to write about my experience of loss and sadness because people may learn a lot from my experience. I cherish friendships and I hope you, who know me, can attest to that. The truth that we are not perfect still stands and so we need to be sorry and we need to forgive one another.

Genuine friends are a treasure for me and, in my heart, they are next to my family. Friends can disagree over some things and I believe that little quarrels can help them both to build a stronger bond of friendship. Now, as with my friend, even if I feel uncomfortable and sad, I still believe that one day we will still come out as best of friends and treat each one as real brothers. There were moments when we need to contradict one another especially if the direction is so deviant from what is good and Godly. As a friend, I cannot go on agreeing with anybody especially if what he has in mind is contrary to what I hold on to be true. There may be some exceptions, but those were shallow and insignificant exceptions.

If we ask for forgiveness from God because of our sinfulness, then we must also learn to forgive others who have wronged us. Otherwise, we might be placing ourselves as a higher authority than God. I hope all of us may learn the value of humility in asking for forgiveness and the strength to forgive because forgiveness is our power to love. Hope I am forgiven now, my dear friend and brother.

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