Love Your Enemies

As children of God, we should try to immitate the Father who loves all people, both good and bad.

Jesus commands his disciples to love God and to love all of God’s children unconditionally, even our enemies and those who hate us.

Loving an enemy is difficult and we must will ourselves to do it with the help of God’s grace.

Loving our enemies means that we choose to do good and we want God to do what is best for them.

In addition to loving our enemies, we should also pray for them, asking God to bless them and to touch their minds and hearts.

Discovering real love:

The moment when Catholicism becomes relevant:

“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 only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5: 43-48

A very different law:

Called to something greater than tolerance:

This same duty extends to those who think or act differently from us. The teaching of Christ goes so far as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love, which is that of the New Law, to all enemies. Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one’s enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1933

We do not love our enemies alone:

God has no enemies:

Why does Jesus ask us to love precisely our enemies, that is, a love which exceeds human capacities? Actually, Christ’s proposal is realistic because it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice, and therefore that this situation cannot be overcome except by countering it with more love, with more goodness. This “more” comes from God: it is his mercy which was made flesh in Jesus and which alone can “tip the balance” of the world from evil to good, starting with that small and decisive “world” which is the human heart. This Gospel passage is rightly considered the magna carta of Christian non-violence. It does not consist in succumbing to evil, as a false interpretation of “turning the other cheek” claims, but in responding to evil with good and thereby breaking the chain of injustice. One then understands that for Christians, non-violence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, February 18, 2007

In order to be a good Christian:

The challenge of praying for enemies:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Spiritual health is superior to physical health:

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