Sunday, February 20, 2011

How do I love my enemy?



I found this helpful reflection in the combox on James Martin's fine post on this weekend's gospel:
If you want to love someone more, you do not have to go and sit down and force yourself to feel warmer about him. If you want, out of love for Jesus, to obey Him by loving your enemy, you do not have to sit down and force yourself to feel that you like your enemy. All you have to do is to be concerned about his interests, to take care of him, to do good to him. Do good to your enemy because you love God, and you are loving your enemy; you are concerned about him and his welfare because God is concerned about him and his welfare. Your love is genuine even if your emotions make you feel you cannot stand the sight of him...
Likewise...
If you want to love someone more, you do not have to go and sit down and force yourself to feel warmer about her. If you want, out of love for Jesus, to obey Him by loving your enemy, you do not have to sit down and force yourself to feel that you like your enemy. All you have to do is to be concerned about her interests, to take care of her, to do good to her. Do good to your enemy because you love God, and you are loving your enemy; you are concerned about her and her welfare because God is concerned about her and her welfare. Your love is genuine even if your emotions make you feel you cannot stand the sight of her… 

There's uncommonly good sense in these simple words and they offer a helpful and healthy response to the one who asks, "But how do I love the person who....?"



 
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