After all no one wants an obstacle to God's mercy, forgiveness, and grace -- right?
Father also said there are times when we do try to forgive, but the resentment, or hurt runs so deep that it is only by praying for God's help to forgive that we can forgive.
Of course I also remember another good way of getting the humility necessary to forgive is to stare at a crucifix and ask the questions:
- Who is suffering and dying on that cross?
- Why is He dying?
- Who is He dying for?
I do believe that the purgation we receive either in temporal punishments in this life, or in Purgatory are to bring us to a place of more perfect, more Christ-like love. A dear priest said in a homily, "You must know that you will not get into heaven until you forgive and love everyone."
It's all there in the Gospels, especially the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant who was forgiven the equivalent of billions and wouldn't forgive a hundred (Matthew 18:21-35). The teaching from Fr. Bartunek in The Better Part on this is that if we refuse to forgive the little offenses others cause us, we "handcuff God's mercy and put ourselves under strict justice."
Who wants that?
Lord please give light, eyes that they may see, and ears that they may hear. Please let all that don't understand that it is your will for them to be forgiving and merciful as you have been to them, absorb the light of the Gospel and Your teaching on forgiveness.
It's right there in the Our Father, for Pete's sake: "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."