In what danger of Forgiveness Sunday?
designate the Last Sunday before the Lent in orthodox church Forgiveness Sunday. This day after vespers the forgiveness rank is made. The priest apologizes to the people in church for the sins which it made “this day and in all days of the life business, thoughts and all the feelings“ and makes bow to the ground.
According to an application rank, all people who are in church answer it with bow to the ground and speak: “God will forgive you, Saint Father. Forgive also us guilty, and bless“. Then people apologize for the sins to the priest and each other.
If to treat the events seriously, then from the external point of view this action impresses. Let`s try to look at it from other, psychological point of view.
In sermons and edifications concerning forgiveness it is told about need to forgive all so that even not to remember offense. God`s attitude towards the Christian depends on it: “And if you do not forgive to people of trespassing them, then and your Father will not forgive you your trespassings“ (Mf. 6,15). I think, many will agree that it is psychologically very difficult to forgive someone - to force itself to forgive more precisely - from - for fear most to be not forgiven or punished. Rejection or punishment to forgive someone for the inability, most likely, it will be perceived as violence, as coercion. In this state to forgive very much and very difficult. This difficult psychological situation comes to an end traditionally - feeling of the helplessness and sinfulness and, therefore, expectation of punishment from God. This state - one of dangerous consequences of thoughtless attempt to forgive someone from - for fear of own punishment. But, as a rule, the plot of “forgiveness“ develops in other direction.
It is very difficult for person to be in constant feeling of the inability to forgive someone, and in this case psychological protection against this unpleasant experience comes to the rescue.
The person begins to convince himself that he forgave that he executed the religious instruction and does not feel any offense. But actually the offense is, and it reminds of itself unpleasant states of mind. To get rid of them, it is necessary only - to cease to feel one the soul, to develop in itself if it is so possible to tell, sincere callousness. It is the biggest danger of religious “correction“ of soul. In twenty years of the priestly service I was convinced that sincere keenness, sincere sensitivity of church people leaves much to be desired.
In this article it is important to tell about a positive role of offense in human life. It is possible to raise a question so: for what the person needs offense? it seems to me, the answer very simple - for a reminder to the person about need of careful behavior with people, dangerous to it, for the prevention of pain and sufferings received in the relations with spiteful people. Our mentality “takes offence“ at them and by that reminds us of care in the relations with such people or in general “saves“ us from communication with them. The offense is similar to spontaneous protective reaction and therefore subsequently its analysis is required whether it is necessary further. Thoughtless refusal of offense does the person not protected at all, open for any violence.
Present such example. The orthodox wife suffers from the husband`s beating - the alcoholic and is forced to turn out him. And here on Forgiveness Sunday, after a touching rank of forgiveness in church, it completely forgave the husband, having forgotten the offenses. In the same evening the husband - the alcoholic appears at home, cruelly beats the wife and children, takes out from the house and spends on drink the remains of things. Perhaps, the orthodox wife will feel religious satisfaction - she forgave up to the end as the father learned. But children - will suffer and the wife after “forgiveness“ will be filled with a bigger hatred to the husband. And it is a reason for the next repentance in a sin of condemnation and edification by the “wise“ father that it is necessary to forgive and live Christianly.
Of course, offenses which we carry in ourselves very much make the life miserable, long and strong offenses are the reasons of many psychosomatic diseases. But it is necessary to get rid of offenses competently - so that not to do itself harm and not to deceive itself rather own mental processes. Full refusal of offense which is the major mental function - at least silly and it is absolutely impossible at safe mentality of the person. If the person inspired with Forgiveness Sunday begins to get rid of all offenses in the church way, then, very possibly, to these it will work great mischief to the mentality, having weakened its protective functions.
How to forgive “competently“? First of all, it is necessary to recognize that it is process long and difficult, and it is the best of all to use the help of the expert - the psychologist. For example, the psychotherapy on “forgiveness“ of parents can stretch for a year or even more. What is done in this case by the psychologist?
In case of offense on the parent in mentality even very much the adult there “lives“ the image of the cruel and unfair parent. And this image is for the person a constant source of offense and humiliation, even then, when this parent is dead. Work of the psychologist consists in helping the offended person to make with the mentality this terrible image safe or even friendly. Then there occurs the original forgiveness - forever and without offenses. Once again I will emphasize that it is a delicate work and very delicate.
I expect objections and indignations of church people: and how God`s grace?! On prayers the God`s grace descends and heals our offenses! Sorry, in twenty years of the service by the priest of it did not see. Deception and self-deception about it - as much as necessary! The reasons are well-known - absence in church of that prayer, that spirituality which can help the person. Now the church has other tasks …
So what to do on Forgiveness Sunday? I advise to think of need of release of the soul for offenses and to choose for this purpose an effective way.