Reconciliation, Forgiveness, and “Letting go”

Yesterday, in reflecting on some particular aspects of my life over the past few years, I found myself meditating on the difference between Reconciliation and Forgiveness.

Fr Rohr’s daily meditation is timely:

“The religious word for this letting go is forgiveness. You see the imperfect moment for what it is, and you hand it over to God. You refuse to let any negative storyline or self-serving agenda define your life.”

To let go isn’t always easy, especially when there is the need for forgiveness without the possibility of reconciliation. Reconciliation with another means both must be involved; both must actively be seeking to mend that which has been injured or broken. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is something I can (and often must) do on my own. When we find ourselves in situations where, for whatever reasons, the cooperative work of reconciliation isn’t possible, we must still work to find the ability to forgive, lest we allow some past hurt or injury to keep us from being who we are called to be.

And, as Fr. Rohr points out, letting go of something doesn’t mean simply ignoring it, denying it, or tossing it away with the morning trash. It means handing it over to God, trusting that God will do with it whatever is best to bring about full healing in ways we can’t even imagine.

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