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Sunday Morning with Cathy Macdonald: Forgiveness

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Cathy MacDonald Cathy MacDonald | 15:20 UK time, Friday, 15 April 2011

Cathy Macdonald and Kathy Galloway

Cathy Macdonald and Kathy Galloway

Forgiveness, which is one of the subjects under discussion in this weeks Sunday Morning with Cathy Macdonald, is a really complex issue, but to my mind, it's also a much under-rated virtue, and the greatest gift we can bestow on our fellow man. The capacity to forgive is there within all of us, but why do we struggle with it so much? I can't say that I have a particular problem with it - "Ah, but", I hear you cry, "that's because you haven't been tested". That's essentially what it's about, isn't it?

But are there some things that are just impossible to forgive, too much to pardon and lay aside? On an individual level being unable to forgive can cause heartache and pain and blight our lives - rendering us helpless in the face of closure - as my guest in the first hour of the show - Head of Christian Aid, Kathy Galloway so succinctly put it.."an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, only renders us blind and toothless".

But of course in a wider context, forgiveness can seem the least likely of outcomes - even if therein might lie the solution, particularly in areas of conflict. Canon Andrew Whyte, or the Vicar of Baghdad as he's known, and who probably has the most dangerous job of any clergyman in the world also shares his view on the subject.

How do you reconcile a great wrong simply by forgiving the perpetrator? For some it's a mountain too high to climb - and what is the relationship between forgiveness and apology? Can one exist without the other - I told you it was complex, but another two of my guests also get to grips with this in interesting fashion.

All thought provoking stuff as Christians prepare for Holy Week. Don't forget to send me your stories and the songs that have special meaning in your life - let me know what they remind you of - and why they're important. Email - sundaymorningwith@bbc.co.uk

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