"Forgiveness is about a deep healing, a thorough repair of broken relationships, a removal of the poison that destroys love and harmony, a restoration of wholeness and open trust," writes Joseph Sica, a priest in the diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. After 25 years of ministry and counseling people, he is convinced that more than 90 percent of troubled relationships stem from the unwillingness or inability to forgive. This comes as no surprise, given the cultural support given by movies, books, and other forms of media for rage, revenge, and payback. One of the best things about this probe of forgiveness is the many references to movies including Avalon, Rain Man, Fried Green Tomatoes, On Golden Pond, Changing Lanes, and Dead Man Walking. Each chapter also contains handy and helpful sections titled Ponder, Practice, and Prayer.

Sica uses the metaphor of a dance to describe the steps involved in the process of forgiveness:

• Ruined: Handling Injury
• Retreat: Getting Stuck
• Revenge: Wanting Payback
• Rehearse: Telling Everybody
• Rethink: Waking Up
• Respond: Loving Confrontation
• Reminder: Setting Boundaries
• Repair: Patching Up
• Reward: Reaping Benefits
• Release: Moving On

Sica observes: "Forgiveness is a marathon, not a sprint. To forgive too quickly, without processing the pain or coming to terms with our forgiveness, can be as bad as not forgiving at all. Only through the journey to discovery and reconciliation can we come to the destination of our choosing." With grace and imagination, the author sheds light on the bitterness of an unforgiving heart, setting up emotional boundaries, releasing ourselves from hurts, and getting rid of soul sludge. We highly recommend Forgiveness: One Step at a Time as a resource that is creative, constructive, and illuminating.