Forgiveness

“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:15

“If he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him’ (Luke 17:4). As the searcher of hearts, the Lord knows that men are liable to very frequent trespass, and that, having fallen, they often rise up again; therefore He has given us the commandment to frequently forgive trespasses, and He Himself is the first to fulfill His holy word. As soon as you say from your whole heart, ‘I repent,’ you will be immediately forgiven.” ~ St. John of Kronstadt

“…through patient endurance we may be granted forgiveness for many sins. Moreover, if we do not forgive others their debts, the Father will not forgive us our debts (cf. Matt. 6:15). Indeed, nothing leads more swiftly to the forgiveness of sins than this virtue or commandment: ‘Forgive, and you will be forgiven’ (cf. Matt. 6:14).” St. Peter of Damaskos.

“One can return evil for evil not only by deed, but also by word or expression. One man may think that he does not return evil for evil in deed, but in fact returns it by word, or expression, gesture, or look. For all this too can offend one’s brother and this too is returning evil for evil. Another may not try to take revenge by deed, word, expression or gesture, but in his heart he harbours resentment against his brother and is bitter against him. Another may have no bitterness against his brother, but if he hears someone reviling, criticising or belittling that brother, he rejoices and so returns evil for evil in his heart. Yet another nourishes no malice in his heart, does not rejoice at hearing of the humiliation of the one who had offended him, and even grieves if he suffers insult, yet does not rejoice at his success – for instance, is vexed if the other if praised or favoured. This too is an aspect of resentment, though the least serious of them all.” St. Abba Dorotheus.

“Do you not see, brethren, that we toil for nothing when we pray, if we have enmity against someone? And again the Lord says, `If you offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember that someone has something against you, leave your gift before the altar, and go first and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’. Therefore, it is clear that if you do not do this first, all that you offer will be unacceptable, but if you do the Master’s bidding, then implore the Lord with boldness, saying, `Forgive me my debts, Master, as I have forgiven my brother, so fulfilling your commandment. I, weak though I am, have forgiven’. For the Lover of mankind will answer, ‘If you have forgiven, I too will forgive. If you have pardoned, I too will pardon your sins. For I have authority on earth to forgive sins. Forgive and you will be forgiven’.” St Ephrem the Syrian

 “There is no prayer so quickly heard as the prayer whereby a man asks to be reconciled with those who are wroth with him. For when he charges himself with the offence, this prayer is immediately answered.” St. Isaac the Syrian

“The forgetting of wrongs is a sign of true repentance. But he who dwells on them and thinks that he is repenting is like a man who thinks he is running while he is really asleep.” ~ St. John Climacus

“God immediately forgives everything to those who ask forgiveness in a spirit of humility and contrition and who ceaselessly invoke His holy name. As the Psalmist says, ‘Confess to the Lord and call upon His holy name’ (cf. Ps. 105:1).” St. Gregory of Sinai

“Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.” ~ St. Philotheos of Sinai

“If you want cure your soul, you need four things. The first is to forgive your enemies. The second is to confess thoroughly. The third is to blame yourself. The fourth is to resolve to sin no more. If we wish to be saved, we must always blame ourselves and not attribute our wrong acts to others. And God, Who is most compassionate, will forgive us.” ~ St. Cosmas Aitolos “‘And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.’ For we have many sins. For we offend both in word and in thought, and very many things we do worthy of condemnation; and ‘if we say that we have no sin’ (I Jn. 1:8), we lie, as John says…The offenses committed against us are slight and trivial, and easily settled; but those which we have committed against God are great, and need such mercy as His only is. Take heed, therefore, lest for the slight and trivial sins against you, you shut out for yourself forgiveness from God for your very grievous sins.” ~ St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“God immediately forgives those who ask forgiveness in humility and contrition, who ceaselessly invoke His holy name, who repent to God and unite with Him by frequent and patient prayers and by confessing sins to Him each day.” ~ St. Gregory of Sinai

“There is no possession more precious than prayer in the whole of human life. Never be parted from it; never abandon it. But, as our Lord said, let us pray that out toil may not be for nothing, `When you stand in prayer, forgive if you have anything against anyone, that your heavenly Father may forgive you your faults’.” ~ St Ephrem the Syrian

“When our hearts are reluctant we often have to compel ourselves to pray for our enemies, to pour out prayer for those who are against us. Would that our hearts were filled with love! How frequently we offer a prayer for our enemies, but do it because we are commanded to, not out of love for them. We ask the gift of life for them even while we are afraid that our prayer may be heard. The Judge of our souls considers our hearts rather than our words. Those who do not pray for their enemies out of love are not asking anything for their benefit.” ~ St. Gregory the Great

“The man who stores up injuries and resentments and yet fancies that he prays might as well draw water from a well and pour it into a cask that is full of holes.” ~ Evagrius

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