1. Begin with the prayer for specific for each session
  2. Watch the TED talk video
  3. Watch the reflection video by one of the pastoral team members
  4. Pray over the scripture passage
  5. Review Personal Reflection Questions

If you have any questions please e-mail the parish at [email protected] or call the parish office at 519-471-4220

SESSION #2 – Why Forgiveness Is Worth It

Opening Prayer

Dear Lord, living a life of forgiveness, rooted in compassion and the Golden Rule is very challenging.  Forgiveness requires courage, humility, grace and love for you, others and myself.  As I journey through this retreat, may I discover that forgiveness is freedom, peace and light—it is worth it because it restores lives!  May I be persistent in offering, receiving and being a true instrument of forgiveness.  AMEN.



Matthew 11:27-30

All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


(1) Why is forgiveness so tricky for everyone?

(2) Is forgiveness an idea or a circumstance of life?

(3) Is forgiving from your heart or your mind?  What is your idea of forgiveness?



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  1. Carmela

    Wow, so real and emotional. I can’t truly understand the horror that she lived with and probably still does on certain days. Sarah demonstrated the struggle between the expectation to forgive in relation to expectations both societal and Christian, intellectually understanding what the positives are to forgive and lastly what that means for our heart and healing. I believe that once she saw this man who took her family as a human, she was able to see him as a young tormented man. My thought immediately went to this man is someone’s son, brother, friend etc. Finally being able to communicate and understand that he not only took her mom and brother but also what he took from her life was the foundation she needed to heal.
    When I taught young children, I used to try to steer the resolution of disagreements and hurt between them by saying, everyone is good but sometimes we make bad decisions that hurt others. It’s our job to help them make good decisions by forgiving them and supporting them. I still believe this, as God created all of us. As we are human, forgiveness is a life lesson, a teachable moment that will always require healing intellectually, spiritually and physically. We all need to be reminded that we are good, and hopefully we strive to have the heart of Jesus and continue to pray and guide each other. Forgiving is not forgetting or saying that’s it’s okay but we cannot heal if we act revengeful or advocate for cruel and unusual punishment. Thank you again for challenging us to look beyond ourselves.

  2. Susan Shaw

    Why is forgiveness so tricky? I found myself nodding my head to the speaker’s saying that there is no real Catholic education on HOW to forgive, just that it is important to do so. Each circumstance is UNIQUE. I, myself, adopted, early on, my Mother’s policy of “Never going to bed angry”. You were to resolve the issue before retiring. This generally involved both parties talking until an agreement was reached. Both parties forgave each other and apologized for things said in anger during the confrontation. I feel it is PRIDE that gets in the way of forgiveness. We insist on believing WE are always right. WE are the ones who deserve an apology and we carry grudges rather than offering forgiveness and resolving the issue. I pray to God for His guidance when an issue like this comes up.

  3. Christopher Dobson

    I love Sarah’s witness. In Medjugorje I had the honour to watch another powerful witness to forgiveness: Immaculée Ilibagiza. Her story is worth hearing. It is about the miracle of her life and the miracle of her forgiveness and the journey of her people. Her book is called – Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (2006).

    These acts of forgiveness seem almost too big to comprehend and are beyond my life experience, so I decided to look at my own life and to witness to what it tells me about forgiveness. I think it is witnessing and looking closely at our experience of forgiveness that guides us to the how, because it is true, there is no forgiveness manual. It is something we learn in baby steps from the witness of others and from our own lived experience.

    In 1967 my grandparents were on there way to a wedding with my aunt. They never made it.They died in a car accident. My Dad’s sister died in his arms. It was too big for my dad. He could no longer pray, nor could he go to church. He no longer believed in God. His faith dried up and his life became a series of poor choices that hurt him and his family.

    I was newly married when I got the phone call. It was my mother. She did not have to tell me. I knew. My father was dead. He died in a car accident.

    I last saw my dad about two weeks before his passing. I had not seen him for a long time and felt a compulsion that I needed to see him. We had a beautiful time together. He also had something he wanted to tell me – he had started to pray again. It was a wonderful grace: God forgives us and God gives us the time we need to forgive.

    It was years later that I realized how scarred I was left by the accident. I did not get to go to the funeral for my grandparents and my beautiful aunt. An anger festered in me against my parents for not taking me and my relationship with Jesus was hurt as well. I no longer wanted to talk to Jesus. Thankfully, Mary provided me a path to healing and lead me back to her son. When I went to Medjugorje I took with me a picture of my father and I climbed to the top of the hill and left it at the foot of the cross. I said my goodbyes to the accident that defined my early life. I forgave my father for his choices that hurt me.

    There is a lightness that comes at that moment and even now as I write I feel it more deeply. My experience of forgiveness is that it can remove a festering wound, but it also adds something as well – a lightness of being that is the presence of God’s grace in us, His temple. Forgiveness is our way of keeping the temple of Our Lord clean for His graced presence.

    That’s my story. What is yours?