The Grace of Forgiveness

forgiveness, Little church around the corner

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 23,24

My housekeeping the soul began with something called ‘Forgiveness Sunday’. For this Protestant making the journey to Eastern Orthodoxy this was a new practice. So I began the dusting and polishing of my soul by going to each member of the body where I worship – man, woman, and child, and saying these words while they responded with the same:

Forgive me, A Sinner.

I bowed to the ground before them, prostrating myself, taking on a posture of humility.

God Forgives, I Forgive. Blessed Lent.

For those who were deaf, we learned how to sign. And sign we did.

I did this maybe eighty to a hundred times ……

My sore legs bear the memory of this remarkable time.

I had heard of this practice for a while. But actually participating in it was indescribable. In a society that finds it hard to admit wrong, harder still to ask forgiveness for wrongs committed, we were a group prostrating before each other asking for forgiveness.

This then is a step of soul care – asking – and then receiving – forgiveness. The blessed gift and grace of forgiveness.

Can we, can I, even imagine what could be accomplished if we walked daily with a spirit of “Forgive me, A sinner”, never failing to recognize the grace of forgiveness?

Housekeeping my soul, fully aware of the Grace of forgiveness. It was, and is, a good place to start.