Have you ever said or thought, "I don't know how I can ever forgive that person...after what he (or she) has done (or said) to me...? How frightening! Considering the countless times we ourselves have offended God...yet He never ceases to forgive us! It is only necessary that we acknowledge our sins and sincerely repent. Just consider: our Lord prayed "Forgive them, for they know not what they do"--even as he suffered an agonizing death on the Cross.
Yet we--wretched sinners that we are--find it so hard to forgive others for their petty offences against us, and we dare to ask, how can I ever forgive them? The answer--as the Beatles famously sung--"It's easy....All it takes is love!" And herein lies the crux of the matter: our failure to forgive is fully explained by our failure to love. Because if we were truly striving day and night to acquire the love of God in our hearts, forgiveness would be as natural to us as breathing.
Truly love covers a multitude of sins: not only our own sins in the eyes of God, but also the sins (real or imagined) of those who have supposedly offended against us. The only thing that stands in the way of acquiring this love is our deep-seated pride, which hardens our hearts and renders them impervious to the indwelling grace of God. May this Lenten Season be for all of us an occasion to strive and struggle to acquire the grace of God, that our stony hearts might be softened by His gift of love.