Colleen McCullough on forgiveness

I just finished The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – an interesting and mostly enjoyable book, though I wouldn’t rave about it as much as many of the critics did. I felt there was a lot of emotional hyperdrama filtered through third-person omniscient impartiality, though after some reflection I think that says a lot more about me than it does about the book. But one idea that struck me was this one:

Only God can forgive… And He will forgive if the sincere repentance is there. He has forgiven far greater sins from far greater saints… as well as from far greater villains. Do you think Prince Lucifer is not forgiven? He was forgiven in the very moment of his rebellion. His fate as a ruler of Hell is his own, not God’s doing.

What a fascinating idea. It’s one to keep in mind when I’m being hard on myself, as is my wont. When I remain in sadness it’s because I’m thinking God hasn’t yet forgiven me or won’t forgive me for whatever shortcoming I’m lamenting – but according to this idea, He already has. I don’t need to wait for some kind of manifestation of absolution; rather, I can realize that forgiveness is not only offered when I’ve shown sufficient remorse, but may be offered well before I even realize I’m making a mistake.

4 thoughts on “Colleen McCullough on forgiveness

  1. Great thought! That has given me a level of perspective I hadn’t considered before. Sounds like a good book!

  2. Hi, Sylvia! I’m not commenting on this specific post, I’m just commenting instead of sending you an e-mail so that I’ll be counted as one of your legions of faithful fans and help keep your ego soothed… It’s amazing how long it took me to get to this point – I had a really old b*** address for you and had to read some of that one, of course, and then follow the link to the next, read those postings, follow the link to the next, etc. This is what I get for not paying more attention over the past several months. Anyway, I’m really wondering if you are OK after our trip and if you will ever be willing to travel with me again! I hope it wasn’t too awful… I’m also wondering how the pictures of Bryce Canyon turned out and would love to see some of them. Finally, congratulations on being the recipient of my first-ever comment to a b***! (I don’t know what else to call this collection of personal ramblings and philosophical tid-bits – is there another short, pithy term that you prefer?) Maybe you could send me an e-mail reply, because there’s no telling how long it will take me to get back here… Lots of love to you, sweetie.

  3. hmm. Are you suggesting that God has forgiven Lucifer? You say “And He will forgive if the sincere repentance is there.” I agree with that, but surely Satan has not repented.

    I 100% agree that God is ready to forgive “well before I even realize I’m making a mistake.” I could even consider that God is willing to forgive Lucifer. (I’m not sure that forgiveness is an option for him now.)

    I guess I am confused a bit. And now you’re confused from reading my comment. (hah)
    Would you follow up on this idea and flesh it out a bit?


  4. Wow. Cool thought, and I like it. I did NOT like the book. Stupid decisions irritate me. Nevermind that I’ve made my share of them, I don’t want to read about other people’s. And I want a happy ending. I read for a happy ending. I can see real life and misery around me, so if I’m reading, I darn well want it happy!

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