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Quotations about Forgiveness

Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. ~Author unknown

If the most beautiful words in the English language are "I love you," then I submit that high on the list for the number two spot is "I forgive you."  ~G. Avery Lee (1916–2008), "The Second Most Beautiful Words," Affirmations of a Skeptical Believer, 1991

The heart always has the pardoning-power. ~Madame Swetchine, translated by Harriet W. Preston

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget," is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." A forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note, torn in two and burned up, so that it never can be shown against the man. ~Henry Ward Beecher

He who forgives ends the quarrel. ~African proverb

We should always forgive; the penitent for his sake, the impenitent for our own. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882

All forgiveness is self-forgiveness. ~William Desmond, "Dialectic and Evil," Beyond Hegel and Dialectic, 1992

My dear, don't let the sun go down upon your anger; forgive each other, help each other, and begin again to‑morrow. ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, "Jo Meets Apollyon," 1868

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

The deep pain of broken trust has one cure, only one. It is the remedy of forgiveness... The first person to benefit from forgiving is always the person who forgives. When we forgive, we purge ourselves of the poison someone meanly put there. We lift ourselves from the bilge of hate and dance to the melody of inner healing. We set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was us. We create a new beginning for ourselves by unlocking the shackles that otherwise would hold us tight inside a painful past. Forgiving is for the offended, first. Later, for the offender. ~Lewis B. Smedes

I don't know if love conquers all, but it conquers a lot, and maybe a little forgiveness the rest. ~Robert Brault,

Forgiveness is a funny thing: it warms the heart and cools the sting. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

If, as a blind Indiana child once wrote, "forgiveness is the perfume of the violet on the heel that crushed it," gratitude may safely be characterized as the perfume of the rose on the hand that caressed it. ~Judge, 1916  [for the history of this quote and its many precursors, see: —tg]

Forgive completely. They whose Words recall
Forgiven Faults, have not forgiven All.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Apology," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

If you can't forgive and forget, pick one. ~Robert Brault,

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. ~Proverb

A woman's love is measured less by what she gives than by what she forgives. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich, "Forgiveness," Marlene Dietrich's A B C, 1962

Some forgive and forget, more forgive and remember, most forgive and remind. ~Robert Brault,

What we forgive too freely doesn't stay forgiven. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend. ~William Blake, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, 1804

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got. ~Robert Brault,

You can make up a quarrel, but it will always show where it was patched. ~E. W. Howe

Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world. ~A Course in Miracles

Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself. ~A Course in Miracles

The cloak of forgiveness cannot be worn over the coat of resentment. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)

a torn heart
takes courage
to forgive
~Terri Guillemets, "Forgive with a brave heart," 2019, blackout poetry created from Rafe Martin, Birdwing, 2005, page 183

Forgive. It doesn't erase their crime but why should you do the time. Let go of resentment. ~Dodinsky

To truly forgive is to let the other person forget. ~Robert Brault,

The more forgiving we are, the freer we become. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)

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published 2000 Dec 23
revised 2021 Sep 25
last saved 2022 Nov 26