Augustine on Asking Forgiveness of Others

This is worthy of our serious reflection during this season of Lent with its emphasis on self-examination and repentance. Do you see the connection between humility and asking someone’s forgiveness? If not, you’ve got some growing up to do, emotionally and spiritually.

To whom do you need to ask forgiveness? A spouse? A friend? A child or parent? A co-worker? A subordinate or superior? Someone at church or another brother or sister in Christ? Whoever it is, ask the Lord for the strength, courage, and grace to do this hard work and then go do it. When you do, know that you are helping the Kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

How many there are who know that they have sinned against their brothers or sisters and yet are unwilling to say: “Forgive me.”

They are not ashamed to sin, but they are ashamed to ask pardon. They were not ashamed of their evil act, but they blush where humility is concerned.

—Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 211.4


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