Saturday, February 27, 2010

Love Thy Enemy


Love Thy Enemy

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

These are such difficult words! To be honest my initial reaction was, "well, who is my enemy?"

So I made a list of possible enemies:

I don't have an arch-nemesis like this:

Feels a little awkward

I don't think a specific race is my enemy:

I don't think I should stereotype a religious group, socio-economic class, political party, or a sexual orientation as being my enemy because they are not:

And then I was thinking, "Ah! Maybe my enemies are people who try to prevent me from getting to God." I asked two priests what they thought and the first one said, "Remember the Evil one causes them to do that and we don't have to love him. We can tell him to go to hell." Or as I suggested, "To stay in hell."

Drink your own poison, you home wrecker!!!!

And then I asked a different priest friend about who is my enemy, he said: "Maybe a better question is what does it mean to 'love' your enemy?"

That is a good question

This is what I came up with:

What does it mean "to love" your enemy?

Well what do I pray for when I pray for people I love?

That they may come to know You Lord. That they may know Your goodness and Your love for them. That You may bless their work and their ministries and that they may bring many people to you.

How do I treat those I love?

I listen to them. I share my joy and struggles with them. I make time for them because I look forward to seeing them. I want them to be happy and to face their struggles, not run away from them.

How do I love myself?

Recently I am having more mercy on myself and I am trying to be more honest about how I live my life and I keep trying to pray more, staying close to Jesus. Forgiving myself.

It is interesting to reflect how we love people and on how do we love those that are annoying, or rub us the wrong way, or put us down, or are abusive. This Christianity thing is not easy, my friend. I am struggling with this everyday. Our Christian life can be measured in our obedience to God, trust in His plan, and charity towards ourself and others.

I thought of this the other day:

Morality is about right and wrong. Charity is about going above and beyond.

Especially as Christians, our charity is called to go to infinity and beyond...

St. Buzz Lightyear of Space,
Model of Charity,
pray for us.

Pray well!


  1. I remember two stories I would like to share. There was this woman saint called Rabi'a and one day someone asked her about Satan and evil. she said something to the effect that I am so absorbed in my rememberence of Him that I dont have any time to worry about Satan.

    The poet of poets Hafiz said we are our only obstacle, we are the only veil separating us from the mystery.

    The enemy I feel is the lesser self, (the ego, the nafs) that cloud our vision by telling us we are separate from other people, that we arent all one swaying being as Rumi puts it.

    I have always felt that this world is as it should be. It was created by God, if it was ever operating in a way it shouldn't I'm sure things would be rectified.

    Sunlight shines on the diamond and coal equally but only the diamond (the prfected heart) can reflect it back. If we look at the world and dont see that grace reflected, to me it means we are seeing the ramifications of our bad choices that further separate us from the mystery, from each other

  2. I always love your insights Dave. I think that the Enemy plays against the lesser self or the ego.

    I always think of this line from the movie The Usual Suspects:

    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince people he never existed."