Since the author of the new book, Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach, is also the assistant to Cardinal Wuerl, many people heading into the American Ordinariate have naturally gravitated towards this book, as we have all gotten to know Fr. Scott Hurd to some degree or another during this process of coming into the Church and the Ordinariate.
For many of us, this process of leaving our old Anglican jurisdictions and going into full communion with the Catholic Church has been full of battles and has been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually draining to a degree many have never experienced before. The battles have happened between parishes and their bishops, between parishes and other parishes, between clergy of all ranks, between clergy and their people, and between parishioners and other parishioners even within the parish itself. I've heard many stories from people about all varieties of conflict which include all manner of deceit, mistrust, backstabbing, switching alliances at the last minute, opportunism, tossing others "under the bus", flat out lies, legal battles, and on and on. Some have recalled seeing friends and loved ones lose their faith during these trials. I've personally witnessed these behaviors and been involved in these battles myself to some degree or another on my own journey to full communion.
So it's timely that the man who's been assisting us to come into the Church and the Ordinariate has published a book about the very topic most of us so desperately need at this time! As I've said before, all of us will have to learn to put past hurts behind us, heal our wounds in time, and re-learn our priestly calling and our calling as the People of God in terms of looking forward positively. After the battles are over and we are in the Ordinariate, we must redirect our energy and efforts to constructive and joyful pursuits to begin again. Our efforts need to be primarily two-fold: building our own communities into full Catholic parishes to be conducive to personal and corporate growth in holiness and the best worship of God we of Anglican heritage can muster, and to evangelize others around us. This is a wonderfully bright future for us with unlimited potential!
But before we just jump in with two feet, we need God's healing. And this, of course, is a synergistic effort: by God's grace and our trying, we can - and must! - forgive.
I encourage everyone reading this, especially those who have been through the kind of battles I've described, to pick up a copy of Fr. Hurd's book as your Advent reading.
It might not be a bad idea for parishes and groups entering the Ordinariate in January (or later) to go through this book corporately before being received into the Church.