God forgives us and we reconcile with Him in the sacrament of Penance. Though it is generally desirable to reconcile with our neighbor when we forgive him, the reconciliation is not absolutely necessary. In some cases, such as a pedophile and an abusive spouse, reconciliation is not recommended.
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). The command does not require the restoration of a relationship. The key word is debt — merciful God forgive me as I forgive my neighbor. We should follow the Divine Master’s command.
When we forgive, we replace negative emotions, such as anger and resentment, with positive emotions, such as love and kindness, for our own peace of mind. Forgiveness is the virtue of the wise and brave!
• Acknowledgement of wrongdoing to the self
• Understanding the rationale of wrongdoing
• Safety restoration
• Letting go
We must relive the negative emotions we experience with a transgression to let ourselves free. We may decide to reconcile with the transgressor, establish a new boundary, avoid him, or end the relationship.