Forgiveness relates to the understanding of the other one`s weakness and one`s own weakness, to the need we have for one another. Why would I not forgive the other one when I feel I am full of sins myself? What man can pretend he did everything he could for the others?
Although I know somebody is sick because of my personal convenience I say I am tired. I am preaching all the time because I don`t fulfill all my duties towards the others. Maybe I don`t do any harm but neither a good. This means to leave the others in their loneliness and helplessness. It happens so often that somebody needs to be encouraged and helped and comforted and I don`t do it, I am always a sinner. Then why don`t I forgive the others? Why to expect from others more than I can give ?
We come to the church to ask for the absolution of our sins. We need absolution from God because we are aware of our sinful state: we have debts towards God and people, His sons and we are not able to pay them. An elder from the past said that the man feels he is forgiven when he doesn`t do the sin anymore and feels the power God gives him for not sinning anymore.
Absolution is not an acquittal; it is the power of God the man feels coming inside. Once we confessed our in and received absolution from God through the priest many times we feel like saying: now I am feeling well, I feel God`s power inside me, I feel He is glad for me.
When I stop judging a man and when I forgive him this one begins to become likeable. My relationship with him changes. The same thing happens when God forgives me. Saint Cyril of Alexandria said many times that God regards us as His sons. He sees on the face of His Son our faces. That is why, he says, we must pray to Jesus to unite with Him and reach a disposition for sacrifice, for self offering before the Father. Then we feel Father`s Love. Forgiveness is an act of love. If I forgive someone I begin to love him.
Excerpt from Small spoken dogmatic, dialogues from Cernica – Dumitru Stăniloae, Marc-Antoine Costa de Beauregard, Deisis Publishing.