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A Poem by Janice Canerdy: "The Cathartic Power of Forgiveness"

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"The Cathartic Power of Forgiveness"

A man whose great success was due, in part,

to others' work, for which he often took

the credit, grew ashamed. He went to each,

apologized sincerely, and received

forgiveness. Still, he felt bound by his sins.

At times, he'd also failed his family

and God. His conscience wouldn't quiet down

until he said, " I'm sorry. Could you please

forgive me?" All said "yes," but still he felt

weighed down with guilt he couldn't rise above.

He couldn't comprehend his frame of mind,

the feeling that--no matter how he tried--

he couldn't do enough to make amends.

He prayed to find the path to peace and joy

and knew that only God could show the way.

Then God revealed the truth he'd failed to grasp,

that peace and joy cannot abide in hearts

of those who never can forgive themselves.

He felt the freedom, joy, and peace he sought

when shackles of self-loathing fell away.


I am a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. My writings have appeared in several publications, including Wild Violet, Light Quarterly, The Road Not Taken, Lyric, Parody, Bitterroot, Cyclamens and Swords, Society of Classical Poets, Westward Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Better Than Starbucks, and Southern Tablet; and anthologies, including those published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Whispering Angel Books, and Quill Books. My first book, Expressions of Faith (Christian Faith Publishing), was published in December, 2016.

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