Forgiveness is Jesus’ heartfelt desire and it is at the center of our Christian faith, for God wants us
to live. When we cannot forgive, life dies within us. For example, if we no longer want to have any
contact with a certain person because they have hurt us and we cannot forgive that person, then
we might say: ‘(s)he is dead to me.’ However, if we forgive or experience forgiveness, then life
can flow again and relationships can be restored to life. There is a difference between forgiveness
and reconciliation. Forgiveness marks the beginning of the healing process and complete reconciliation is at the end of this process.
Excerpted from Joy in God: Rekindling an Inner Fire by Joachim Hartmann SJ and Annette Clara Unkelhäußer