Manataka American Indian Council

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SPIRITUALITY

 

Chaplains Group

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A response from Manataka to

Linkedin Chaplains and Ministers

 

FORGIVENESS

 

How does forgiveness function in your ministry as a chaplain?

 

Gregory Davidson - Chaplain Resident at Geisinger Medical Center

The article in First Things - while Roman Catholic in tenor - gives a good overview of the potential power of forgiveness for personal liberation and communal transformation.

 

The article in First Things - while Roman Catholic in tenor - gives a good overview of the potential power of forgiveness for personal liberation and communal transformation. Search First Things www.firstthings.com  Among the highlights of his unfolding papacy is Francis’ emphasis on the sacrament of reconciliation. The confessional is not a “torture chamber,” he has said, but a welcoming place, where we ask for and receive forgiveness for our sins.

 

Wendy Portolos MDiv. Hospital Chaplain,Grief and Bereavement facilatator, Pastoral Counselor, Paramedical

Forgiveness...It is a powerful help to those who find themselves stuck in a situation and often in Chaplaincy my patients have asked for communion and within that sacrament I find that we must ask for forgiveness of sin for life everlasting. Often after many visits it comes up when I hear anger in the patient about their situation. I never bring it up but it finds its way to the confession or conversation somehow. I would say that God is at work with me and the patient and our common need for forgiveness in our lives. It can trigger a release if we talk about it but the patient is the one who must be ready to forgive because God is just waiting to forgive and love them even if they don't realize it. So may you go to communion with the expectation of asking and receiving the blessing of forgiveness that you may have everlasting life among the Saints and Angels when it is your and my time to meet God.

 

Patrick White, Priest  St. Bartholomew's Cathedral at Tonawanda, New York

Forgiveness is not something we as chaplains can give. Only God can forgive. What we can do is assure our contacts that God not only loves them but that He has already forgiven them for what ever haunts their lives. As a chaplain it is our job to reassure people that they are forgiven by God. What I encounter most is that people find it hard to forgive themselves for what ever has occurred in their lives. It eats them up and often determines their actions once they have accepted their culpability for their actions and some of those actions are more harmful as the guilt haunts them. Some have become cruel and hard nosed, unforgiving of others when their real concern should be forgiving themselves. Some people are so consumed by guilt that it literally eats them alive, wracked with guilt. Our job is to assure them that no sin is greater than God's forgiveness. So sin is greater than God's love.

 

Lee Standing Bear Moore - Chaplain, Secretary, Historian, Storyteller, Keeper of Manataka

Forgiveness is transformative! Our work gives us an opportunity to work with many wounded war veterans, many of whom suffer from PTSD. Through my own personal military experience, I learned that fear is at the root of PTSD and forgiveness plays a major role in successfully treating veterans. Finding one's own personal Place of Peace is not possible without forgiveness. Teaching ways to find forgiveness is most gratifying because the results are transformative!  In the old days, the entire American Indian clan and village would gather in a circle and mutually forgive themselves and each other for transgressions.  American Indian philosophy teaches that forgiveness is healing for oneself and others.

 


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