Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Our Enemies are Our Friends

"Our friends are all those who unjustly bring upon us tribulations and difficulties, shame and injuries, pains and torments, martyrdom and death; whom we ought to love greatly, because from this which they bring upon us, we have eternal life."
- St Francis of Assisi

This quote was integrated into the homily at Mass today. It's one of those quotes which contains much truth yet is difficult to accept and live by. Much like the passage from the Gospel for today's Mass.

"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 only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
(Mt 5:43-48)

As if yesterday's Gospel wasn't hard enough. This is the week of the tough stuff in so far as the Gospels go. As Father pointed out tonight too, these aren't merely "suggestions", but rather commandments made by Christ. Christ commands us to love our enemies. That's probably a good thing because if it were a mere suggestion I don't know how many of us would follow his suggestion.

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