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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

24 June 2015: Ann Saunders, St Laurence Catholic Church

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Years ago our 11 year old son fell out of a top bunk with no rails at his boarding school and he had to have 13 stitches just above his eye. Not once did the school say sorry, even knowing that another pupil had already fallen out of the same bed the week before and had been moved to a lower bunk. On a plane recently a businessman was telling me about a self-help book he was reading to help him do better in business. During the 13 hour flight his alarm went off by mistake and woke everyone up around him. He didn't apologise and I wanted to say, 'Perhaps, to do better in business, you should learn to say sorry when necessary, as you won't lose anything and you will probably gain respect'.

The Methodist Church has now apologised to the victims of abuse many years ago and Alton Towers has accepted full responsibility for the terrible rollercoaster accident. But why is it so difficult nowadays for most of us to say sorry? I am sure there are many reasons: pride, thoughts of vulnerability or humiliation to name just three.

In the Catholic Church we have Confession where most find it humbling to confess their sins. A priest told me it was a real grace to be able on behalf of God to forgive a person's sins. 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' (Romans 3:23) and 'If we confess our sins to God, he is faithful and just: he will forgive us our sins, to cleanse us from all our wrongdoing.'(1 John 1:9)

We have all made mistakes from time to time, but let's have the grace to say sorry-you'll be amazed how good that might feel and it will show that you care. And in turn, those we have wronged might find it easier to forgive, as God forgives us.

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