It is so important for us as Christians to understand the word "as" in this fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer. When we say, "forgive us our trespasses 'as' we forgive those who trespass against us," we not only acknowledge that we are sinners (if we think we don't sin then we don't need a savior), but also that we will only be forgiven if we forgive others their sins. This is very important to recognize so that we don't hold grudges, hatred, etc., even towards one person. We are required to be merciful in order for mercy to be ours.
Here's what the Compendium has to say:
594. Why do we say “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”?
By asking God the Father to pardon us, we acknowledge before him that we are sinners. At the same time we proclaim his mercy because in his Son and through the sacraments “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Still our petition will be answered only if we for our part have forgiven first.
595. How is forgiveness possible?
Mercy can penetrate our hearts only if we ourselves learn how to forgive – even our enemies. Now even if it seems impossible for us to satisfy this requirement, the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit can, like Christ, love even to love’s extreme; it can turn injury into compassion and transform hurt into intercession. Forgiveness participates in the divine mercy and is a high-point of Christian prayer.
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|part 4, section 2, article 3|
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