Page 2, 23rd October 1970

23rd October 1970
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Page 2, 23rd October 1970 — Seventy times seven
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People: Billy McGhee, Gandhi

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Seventy times seven

Gospels, on forgiving. We need to go carefully in applying this to non

resistance, to ' n o n violence", to the non-use of force. But to the forgiving itself there are no limits. Even our enemies, even before they harm us; forgiving people even for being different from us, in temperament or tradition or race.

"No retaliation" alas) sound rather negative, but in times of stress it was all even Gandhi could think of; and it leaves a loophole for that creative understanding and reconciliation which is the real thing. "Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation."

One fresh insight brought by old age is that life is too

short to harbour resentments.

Memorable moments on the radio are not frequent, but I recall one on an August morning in 1969. It was the Rev. Billy McGhee, talking briefly about understanding and forgiving. on the lines indicated above.

"Cavemen cannot be civilised by cavemen". he said. "Forgiving is often the only way out." We must also realise, he said. that we too need to be forgiven, or else we easily lapse into selfrighteousness over the aggressiveness of the other fellow.

"And my beautiful and tortured Northern Ireland," he ended. "There's only the one way left!"




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