"It is comforting to me to remember that my very weaknesses form the tension that pulls me again and again to the Holy One, asking that my brokenness be made whole. Paradoxically, it is often when I feel most satisfied with myself that I find myself slipping away from the Holy. Self-congratulatory, I say to myself, 'I'm doing great! Wasn't I.' Not that I want to bring on times of suffering and hardship so that I can 'learn the lessons thereof.' But I must say without a doubt that my greatest times of spiritual growth, and times when compassion seems most generous within me, have been times of suffering, or times when I have behaved in an unworthy manner and have had to face up to my failing. Humility, then, allows for the presence of the Holy in our lives; whereas, self-righteousness and judgment both alienate others and prevent learning.
"It seems to me that forgiveness is all of a piece: when we are unable to forgive, we then perpetuate the fruits of non-forgiveness: anger, hatred, revenge, pettiness of character. And the fruits of forgiveness — humility, compassion, love, peace — are lost to us. The place to begin is not guilt, not self-condemnation, but the sincere desire to begin anew. If you earnestly seek to forgive, if you seek a change of heart, you will at some point have what you seek, for the nature of God is love, is forgiveness. We ourselves are forgiven even before we think to ask. We don't have to earn it. We just have to be willing to receive. As we ourselves are forgiven, we can through that same fount of grace, forgive the injuries done to us."