An Excerpt from Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey: Nine Steps of Forgiving through Jesus' Beatitudes by Flora Slosson Wuellner

Flora Slosson Wuellner's thought-provoking anatomy of Christian forgiveness is based on the Beatitudes. Here is a passage on the spiritual practice of compassion.

"We are told that though our choices stand as unchangeable facts in the old universe, God offers us a new universe. We are still responsible for trying to make what restitution we can, for trying to heal wounds we have inflicted, but the crushing burden of guilt is lifted from us. The prison door is open, and that place we used to live is no longer our home. We are no longer the persons we were then. Who knows but that God will give us the joy of some new morning in a new vineyard to work within God's love!

"The best reparation we can offer is to become compassionate toward those who mistreat us the way we mistreated others, releasing them from resentment. For example, the only true reparation I could make to my old friend whom I had neglected was to become more understanding of anybody who neglected me. Instead of taking offense at a friend who had forgotten or who was too busy to call or write me, I would try to remember how often I too had become distracted and overwhelmed by daily chores and neglected others. Then I would try to release that friend from the prison of my offendedness. I believe my old friend's beautiful spirit touched mine with this guidance. I remember the relief I felt when I realized I could do something real and valuable "in remembrance" of her."