Robert Barron | – How to Heal a Broken Relationship — Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon

Friends, forgiveness is about bearing the burden of the other—what justice requires them to carry, you carry for them. How we forgive others is tied tightly to God’s forgiveness of us. If the Lord gives you grace in seventy times seventy ways, you must mirror the same for the brother or sister who offends you. Criticize another person only in the measure that you’re willing to help them deal with the problem you’re raising.

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Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at

Comment (45)

  1. I did offer a mile to help, wrote emails and texts and phone calls to try and help in order to make the place of worship safe but to no avail our Parish priest would listen. I was annoyed, I have stopped going for the moment, praying and the reading of forgiveness on Sunday, Monday the feast of THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS and now your sermon – yes I will forgive but do I have to write as I said we ie my husband and I tried our best, we have been there in that church for 44 years. Thanks Bishop Barron GOD BLESS Mel

  2. It’s not that I don’t agree with what you’re saying, Your Excellency, but I just cannot get an answer on how to forgive. Jesus told us to forgive but he never told us how. If I say I forgive someone, but I am still angry inside, have I really forgive him/her? But how do I stop being angry? I have tried for a long time to find an answer to this question but I am still searching.

  3. Thank you Bishop Barron. Forgiveness is very difficult when the other person is not sorry, refuses to even consider that what they did was hurtful and continues to hurt you. I sometimes have to pray to want to forgive and pray for God to just take that poisonous feeling out of my heart because I'm incapable of overcoming it on my own. I have also found it sometimes best to forgive but not to maintain a relationship with someone who continues to speak and act without love.

  4. I think anger is an emotion which can be cause of harm or cause of good change. Most emotion is essential for good decision making but shouldn’t be the only thing guiding our choices. Invalidating our pain by jumping to “forgiveness” before we show self compassion in “siding with ourselves”, adds to our pain and prolongs the internal conflict (and there really is no true forgiveness until that internal conflict is reconciled).

  5. I was looking at this trying to figure out how this will help me heal my relationship with my boyfriend. Idk if I think forgiveness is our problem, I don’t cling to resentment, but I’ve been told that we’re going to be married for years. It hurts me so much. It has eaten away at my heart. We’re both Catholic and went to church together when we first met, now here we are 7 years later and I want to get married and he wants to buy a house first. Please pray for us!

  6. There are times when you find out too late that you are dealing with someone with serious mental health issues that are far beyond your pay grade to deal with, and it was not a healthy relationship from the start. It is, therefore, very unhealthy for them as well as you to continue to attempt to pursue any relationship at all. Forgiveness is not so much restoring relationships that were never healthy or "letting them off the hook" for the pain they have caused as it is "letting go of their throat" and letting go of your own desire to be justified or "right". Pray for them, that they receive blessing and everything they need from God, and do not harbor resentment in your heart. However, unless they receive help for their illness wherein a healthy relationship could then finally happen, it is best to let them go in God's hands.

  7. i've reached out so many times, but this person (let's call enemy) is daily intentionally doing things trying to rouse my and my mother's anger. Does it mean that i'm not forgiving if i ignore my enemy? Am i speaking behind the back if i relay this to some social worker who tries to help me? I'm sandwich between the nuisance of this enemy who i think tries to irritate my elderly mother, so that she could be sent to the mental institution – i can ignore the endure the enemy but may be not my mother. What do i do, Bishop?

  8. I used to struggle with anger and grudges tremendously. I’ve learned thanks to you and father Mike Schmitz how to forgive. I no longer struggle with grudges, but i still battle with anger. I’m learning to use it properly though. To push me when I’m being stagnant, to give me some extra oomf when i need it, etc. i catch myself now if i let it have control for too long.
    Crazy how life is such a learning and long journey

  9. Always admired Mother Teresa and loved her legacy quotes:

    People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;

    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

    Be kind anyway.

    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

    Give the world the best you've got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;

    It was never between you and them anyway.

  10. Making amends to another is not about how they react; it is my way of building a bridge. I cannot control their reaction. And when someone comes to me and says "I'm sorry for …", it is important, when I am ready to do so, to close the 'forgiveness loop' by saying "I forgive you."

  11. I am reading a book called “Oneing: An Alternative Orthodoxy – Anger,” published by Fr Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation in which various authors, including Richard Rohr in the Introduction, argue that there are times and situations when anger (but not out-of-control, abusive anger or violence) is not only an understandable response but actually even a necessary one. They argue that the rush to forgiveness in some cases, is even harmful, and that we need a way to channel and reconcile our anger with our faith.

  12. The description here of “burying the burden” of the other sounds dangerously close to codependency. This can be done healthfully and charitably, but this description leaves a door wide open for it be done by the “forgiver” with the intent to control the reaction of the other. We can reach out to another and seek reconciliation, again and again and again, but after so many times, it is insanity. We cannot make someone be where they are not, and force them to change in ways they won’t. Then, I would argue, it is more loving to remove ourselves from the situation, and pray and love from afar.

  13. Good stuff. I don't think you said explicitly this: In taking on the burden of the other, one lets go of the burden of resentment. And that burden of the other is always lighter than the burden of resentment. Before this sermon, I never knew how deadly resentment is. I can't thank you enough. Still struggling, I admit. But I must say that letting go of resentment is becoming one of the greatest gifts of my life. I hope I can do it. Yes, I'm fishing for a prayer.

  14. Every time you are waiting in a queue at the supermarket checkout, say a hail Mary for the a person who hurt you. Whenever the memory of that person comes to you at odd moments, say a Hail Mary for their eternal good. You will be surprised how the memories begin to heal. In recent years I have had to forgive my dentists for pulling out teeth because they did not want a second appointment to take up his time since the rules in the UK for paying dentists changed from being paid per filling to being paid per patient. having lost seven teeth in this way and not being able to afford private dentists I have to stay with these infuriating extraction clinics. So I pray for those dentists everyday – maybe that is what the Lord had in mind all along…..

  15. Thank you so much for this message, Bishop. I am going into "couples" therapy to resolve things with my sister, after she hurt me very badly. It is so hard to take those first steps to forgiveness and reconciliation, but once the heart gives up its resistance, it feels sooooo gooood!