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Forgiveness as the Catholic yoga

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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.”

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“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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