Crossing the Road to Our Enemies: First Steps towards Enemy Love

Reading Luke 6:32

But true courage is not to hate our enemy,
Any more than to fight and kill him.
To love him, to love in the teeth of this hate – that is real bravery.
That ought to earn people m-m-medals.
~Dom Joseph Warrilow *

One of the toughest roads we will ever cross is the road leading straight toward our enemy – it’s against our very natures. Not only does crossing require courage and humility, but the reality is that our efforts may not be reciprocated or appreciated. But it is a road that Jesus not only beckons us to, but actually commands us to cross. “Love your enemies,” exhorts Jesus with stunning insight. “Do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). The words provide no backdoor getaways or escape hatches. Many of us would prefer the command to be optional, like, “Once in a while, if you feel like it, you should do something nice for your enemy.” Most of us would like to stay on our side of the road on this one. p. 82

Tony Hendra, Father Joe (New York: Random House, 2004), 118.

Bruce Main

Challenge: Thomas Merton once reminded a friend who advocates for the poor, that our job as Christians is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. What first steps can you take to remove someone’s “worthiness” from our job to love?

Prayer Focus: Father, you loved everyone. Your last words were ones that asked forgiveness for those who crucified you. May I learn from your example and open my heart to those whom I consider my enemies and those whom I find a hard time loving. Teach me to love my enemies and always be willing to forgive like you did.

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