This raised interesting questions about how her super memory influenced her ability to relate to others, especially those who had hurt her in the past.
She seemed unable to forgive, which led a doctor to wonder if she was choosing to give greater weight to bitter memories than sweet ones.
What if our memories were, indeed perfect? Would that make us objective and rational in our judgements, or would other forces in our makeup be able to slant our interpretations of accurate memories?
Jesus speaks one of his many emphatic commands to forgive in one of today's lessons:
‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’
St. Benedict applied this passage to the preservation of community life in his Rule for Monasteries (Ch. 13),
The Morning and Evening Offices
should never be allowed to pass
without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
in its place at the end
so that all may hear it,
on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
Thus those who hear it,
being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.
Hannah Arendt, a post-Holocaust political philosopher and not a Christian, nevertheless heard in Jesus' teachings the power to forgive and set humanity free from the "irreversibility" of actions and consequences. "Irreversibility and the Power to Forgive" was a chapter of her book The Human Condition, nicely excerpted by another blogger,
"Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell...The discoverer of the role of forgiveness in the realm of human affairs was Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that he made this discovery in a religious context and articulated it in religious language is no reason to take it any less seriously in a strictly secular sense."
What are the forces within us that rebel against the liberating potential of forgiving? Always a worthwhile question for our troubled world.