What I'm going to share is part of a homily of one priest in our city last Sunday. The theme of which is forgiving wholeheartedly.I narrated the story below in my own words :
Fast forward one year after her son's brutal death.
A priest in their community saw the woman kneeling on one of the pews inside the church and he noticed she was still wearing black symbolizing her mourning for her dead son. He approached her and asked in a calm voice, " Dear woman, I just noticed that it's been a year since your son's death and yet you're still wearing black. Don't you think it's about time you move on and so your son's soul will be at peace too?"
Of which the widow replied back : " I won't stop mourning for my son , Father not until justice has been given for his death. " After hearing this, the priest told her, " Woman, not until you've done something for those who have murdered your son, you wouldn't attain real peace." The widow having heard of this replied back in a raised voice : " Father, I'd be truly happy seeing those murderers rot in jail and their souls burn in hell! There's nothing more painful than a mother seeing her dear son swimming in his own blood!"
The priest reiterated his last reply : " I will say this again to you dear woman and reflect on this very hard.. Not until you DO SOMETHING to the murderers of your child, can you achieve true peace within you."
A mystical calmness enveloped the widow's being having heard the priest's reply once more.
One month after, the priest saw the woman again now in immaculate white with a certain glow in her countenance. She was the one who approached him this time and said : " Father, you just never know how you changed my way of thinking. And guess what. I DID SOMETHING to the murderers of my son. I called the Bureau of Pardons and asked if they can give clemency to them.After what I did, I felt this surge of unexplainable calmness within my being as if I was born again! I know my son is at peace where ever he is now. I believe, I've experienced how it is to truly forgive and forget!."
How many of us still carry deadly grudges deep inside our hearts that's eating even our own souls? True forgiveness as they say is not simply saying : "I've forgiven you." And yet deep inside we still carry this certain bitterness that gives us rotten feelings each time.It should also mean "forgetting the offense" or condemning the sin and not the sinner for all of us are.What the woman in the story did was such one hard feat to make!
True peace could only be attained by freeing ourselves of guilt and bitter feelings not just towards other people but much more forgiving ourselves for the past mistakes done and seeing the world in rose-colored glasses once again!