I promise to write more later about the retreat and what I am learning from Father Richard Cash but I need to post this one right away.
He has given me an new way to look at 'forgiveness', based on biblical principles.
Under the old covenant, the idea of revenge and justice was expressed as quid pro quo - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You do something to me, I have the right to do the same thing, or something equally harmful, back to you. This is justice.
Under the new covenant we are asked first to LOVE our enemies and then we are charged to be PERFECT as our heavenly FATHER is perfect, which is just a bit over the top if you ask me...of course, Jesus did not ask me...He tells me and then invites me to give it the old college try.
So, when we pray in the Our Father "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" it kind of flies in the face of the old covenant, right? Right...but what does it mean.
Father Cash preached that to forgive is different from being reconcilled to our enemies...and that we forgive them by voluntarily handing over, to the Father, our right to revenge and justice. In other words, no more 'eye for an eye'; instead, we say to the Father "I surrender my right for revenge to You, Lord. I forgive my enemy and I put the handing out of justice in YOUR hands, not mine".
Anyway...I'll write more later...it makes it a lot clearer to me, but it doesn't make it any easier!