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.”

“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

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