Wednesday 15th March: The Art of Saying Sorry

The theme of this school week is: Reconciliation.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Reflection

Elton John sang, ‘sorry seems to be the hardest word’ and it’s true. Apologising is a difficult skill to master, but what a difference it makes!

An insincere apology is very easy to spot. The apologiser will say ‘sorry’ first (just to get it over with!), and then he will justify his earlier action with a defensive explanation of his motives and intentions. The offended person will usually feel worse than if no ‘apology’ was offered in the first place!

Perhaps a way of including valid reasons (but not ’fig leaf’ excuses!) and still making a proper apology would be to say something like: “I had my reasons for speaking/behaving the way I did, but I now realise that I was wrong. I am really sorry. Please accept my apology.” 

Saying sorry can seem shameful, even a weak thing to do, but nothing could be further than the truth. When we accuse ourselves of being wrong we are on the side of God and the angels. It takes real courage to say sorry. People have a higher regard for those who admit they were wrong than those who never say sorry.

There is also an art to receiving an apology. The ‘apologised to’ holds all the cards; he/she has the power to release the ‘apologiser’ from guilt and shame. The willing acceptance of another person’s apology is to understand that we are all fallible human beings and that we all make mistakes. It requires humility and grace and is a truly holy thing to do for, ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’.

Prayer

The Lord’s prayer encourages us to recognise our need for forgiveness and our need to forgive every day.

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

Our Lady Queen of Peace pray for us.
St Joseph pray for us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.