Forgiveness as the Catholic yoga

Robert Enright (Photo taken from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Web site/Jeff Miller)

ROME -- In a post-modern, pragmatic, "gimme-something-that-works" sort of world, Eastern religions have had considerable success in exporting elements of their spirituality and tradition that meet perceived contemporary needs. Plenty of fitness-conscious people have been exposed to Hinduism through yoga, for example, just as many stressed-out Westerners have been intrigued by Buddhism though transcendental meditation (TM).

As a thought exercise, here’s a question: Does the Catholic church have something similar to put on the market – a practice which meets or exceeds imminently practical, secular standards of effectiveness, but which could also serve as a calling card for the broader Catholic tradition?

Robert Enright believes the answer is “yes,” and he knows what it is: Forgiveness, not just as a virtue or an abstract idea, but a concrete therapeutic tool.

“Hatred has a long shelf life,” Enright says. “Once it enters into the human heart, it’s hard to get it out. It breeds destruction, discouragement, and hopelessness.”

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

“If we are to save the planet,” Enright says, “we must be bathed in forgiveness.”

Enright spoke in Rome Monday morning, as part of a conference on “Neuroscience and Moral Action” sponsored by the Opus Dei-run Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Read the full story here: Forgiveness as the Catholic yoga

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.