“How many times should I forgive?” The man asked. ‘Seven times?”

“No,” came the answer. “Seventy times times seven.”

As I sat in church, the rationalist in me wondered, why 490 times? Why not 1,000 times? (I knew my daughter will ask me that at the first opportunity.)

Then I thought back to the countless times my mother had forgiven me in the past. I’ve always had such a huge capacity to hurt her, because she loves me so much. Too much, I often think.

But equal to her capacity to love me is her capacity to forgive me.

And thus, that is the greatest gift she bestows upon me: the constant reminder that I must forgive others, the past and myself, the way my mother has forgiven me so many times. It is a challenge to forgive sometimes (especially forgiving myself), but one I keep working on…for the love of my mother, the practitioner of the law of unlimited forgiveness.

Do try it, and may you find bliss from the practice.

Photo: in my mother’s garden.