Catholic Public Speaker and Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

Loving One’s Enemies

April 16, 2014

 

Charity - April 16th Picture _3

As we proceed through Holy Week, what an appropriate time to address love for one’s enemies – one of the toughest things to do. Jesus gives clear instructions to love our enemies in Luke 6:27-36. It is within this passage that He explicitly tells us that no matter how others treat us, we are called to treat others in the same manner that we wish to be treated. Jesus, never one to mince words states, “love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for He, Himself, is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).   It is a tall order, but one, nonetheless, that we are expected to follow.

To provide an example, I’ll share a personal story from my own life. I was born with clubbed feet – meaning that all of the bones from my toes to my pelvis are slightly twisted causing curvatures and angles that look out of place. As a result, I spent much of my childhood having twelve surgeries on my feet. This meant plaster casts on my legs, walking with crutches, and when not recuperating from a surgery, I walked with braces up to my knees. Needless to say, I was the brunt of many jokes, sneers and derision at the hands of my cruel and sometimes vicious classmates. I was called names, and I felt marginalized. However, I had wonderful parents who taught me that anger only produces more anger; hatred only more hatred. I had a choice to make; I could retaliate or I could take the high road. With my parents help, I took the high road. My parents reinforced within me that I should treat others how I would like to be treated rather than how they treated me. I have found that it actually takes less energy to be kind than it does to be mean.

What stories might you have to share about loving your enemies? Enter the conversation.

How does one practice charity? We’ll address that in our next reflection on the virtue of Charity. Don’t miss it!

7 Responses to Loving One’s Enemies

  • Thanks Aunt Ginny for sharing that story. Great message!!

  • Thanks for sharing! You’ve definitely taken the road less travelled, as we all should. Your witness is an encouragement and little reminder to all. Thank you!

  • Ginny, your story is beautiful and clearly demonstrates how we should CHOOSE to live. The seeds of kindness are so easily sown through a smile, a nod, and hello. Carrying the bricks of anger and revenge only succeed in destroying our inner peace.
    I saw a sign once that said, “Bless your enemies, after all you created them.” There is so much truth in this statement. We have the power to make people our enemies, but with God’s grace, we can let go of the grudges and liberate ourselves into beings of light, joy and goodness. If we seek God’s forgiving grace, we will indeed receive it and give it. Happy Easter, Ginny! Mary

  • Ginny,

    When we’re together, I totally forget that there’s anything “different” about you b/c you’re so much fun to be around! Those early lessons have really paid off, it seems…I was teased and bullied as a kid, too. (Long story.) Been talking on another group all week about being survivors/thrivers, instead of victims, and the first step on that road is forgiving those who tormented us.

    Liz Sheehy

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