Since its inception, themes of forgiveness and reconciliation have been hallmarks of the Center’s regular offering of spiritual retreats and workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions about Forgiveness

  1. If I forgive someone, does this mean I condone their behavior or “let them off the hook?”

  2. Are there crimes or acts that are unforgivable?

  3. How can I release myself from the pain or harm when the offender shows no remorse?

  4. Are moral people required to forgive?

  5. What happens when we don’t forgive?

  6. Is it necessary to confront the offender in order to forgive?

  7. Is there a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation?

  8. Should I forgive someone who doesn’t seek my forgiveness?

  9. Should I keep forgiving someone if they never change their hurtful behavior?

  10. What is the role of community and institutions in forgiveness?


Forgiveness involves coming to an understanding that mistakes are opportunities fro growth, awareness, and the cultivation of compassion, and the realization that the extension of love to ourselves and others is the glue that holds the universe together. Forgiveness, therefore, is not a set of behaviors, but an attitude.


— Joan Borysenko

Every encounter with forgiveness requires defeating the ego over and over again.


— Gandhi

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we are ever asked to do, and none of us can claim to be an expert on the subject. One of the reasons forgiveness is so difficult is that when we have been harmed or betrayed, it causes our sense of justice and fairness to come into direct conflict with our desire to show mercy and compassion. Forgiveness is at the same time a choice, a process, an attitude, and a way of life. In some traditions, forgiveness is understood as an obligation as well as a choice.

The Center for Spiritual Integration offers opportunities for individuals to answer these questions in either a relaxed retreat setting or individual spiritual direction.

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