Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. These words are recited daily by Christians around the world but are rarely focused on beyond a recitation of a learned prayer from childhood. When broken down and thought about, the words take on a much deeper personal meaning.
Firstly, trespass is another word for wrong. So the prayer is actually asking God to forgive us our wrongs (towards him) as we forgive those who wrong us. This is a concept that many Christians struggle with. We all want God to forgive us our wrongs (sins) but we often can’t forgive people who wrong us. Too many good Christians hold on to grudges against people but still expect God to forgive them. We need to forgive the wrongs against us so that we can be free to be forgiven the wrongs we have done to others and God.
My belief about death and reincarnation was formed early on in religious education, confirmed when I read through my church publications, and is the same today as it’s always been. One main thing to note is that Catholics believe in physical bodies and spiritual bodies. Our physical bodies die and decay, while our spiritual bodies have no end. The human spiritual body is called a “soul” to Catholics, and it has no physical form. It resides in our physical body while we are on this earth, but can’t be pinpointed as to where it actually is within our body. The soul is created by God, and lives for infinity in either physical or spiritual form.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is a book that was originally put together in the 1960s as a way of explaining what Catholics believe about various subjects of the times. In 1995 an updated version was published. This updated version was not new beliefs or new doctrine. It simply added more topics of concern and changed the format of the information. This 1995 version is what I self-studied with for most of my adult life. Now, in the age of the internet, the entire CCC is available online and searchable by topic, number or keyword.