Love your enemies

Beloved in Christ, there are many people with the name Catholic, who when they see someone who is a friend, will show courtesy to them, greet them with a smile, be sure to not speak ill of them, and may even help them with some task. But if it is a person they do not care for, or someone who has slighted them in the past or hurt them – well – they don’t give them the time of day.
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Jesus says, that is exactly how the pagans live, and he is right. People who could care less about God – they are kind to their friends, but disdain their enemies. Our Lord is saying, if you are a Christian, you love all people, those you find affable, and those you do not. This is a test for our life, to find out if we are real Christians or not.
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Sometimes, our enemies should go home – surprised! Surprised that we stopped and chatted with them, or helped them in something.
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Jesus says, ‘You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies.’
Francisca del Valle says: The Holy Spirit wants us to never do any deceitful act against our neighbor. Rather, we should give a special place in our heart to those who are against us. We should never speak in any way, of the weaknesses, faults, or sins of our neighbors. If we are persecuted, we should be quiet in the face of it, and open our heart full of affection for those people, however often they try to hurt us – never showing the slightest sign of resentment.
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St. Francis de Sales says, consider those people whom you find disagreeable and tedious. It is in these cases that we must practice fraternal love. Examine yourself to see if you are well-disposed toward them.
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‘But how can I love someone who hurts me or is against me? How can I change the way I feel about that person? Firstly, it is impossible to LIKE everyone. Some people are downright cruel or have truly abraisive personalities, we don’t like that. But we are to love them. That means, we wish the best for them, desire good for them.
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Jesus clarifies this: ‘I say unto thee, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’ If in our daily prayers, we include those persons who are against us – ‘Lord, help him in his life; pour your blessings on him, guide him – this is the way that we truly love those who are against us.
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We might only love our friends out of self-interest, but we can be sure we love others for love of God when we love our enemies. This is the mark of a Christian.

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