If God is love, violent reprisal violates His character and repudiates anything I may say to the contrary. It is impossible to pray for my enemy while endeavoring to destroy him. Praying for my enemy initiates an internal distillation in which God sifts and discards everything in me that does not resemble the Christ. This is not a painless process; in fact, someone must die for it to come to fruition. I may be surprised that the one who must die is me. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ who lives within me” (Galatians 2:20). The way of the cross always leads in the opposite direction of the well worn path down which the world is marching.

“At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:8-11 | ESV)

Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin Catholic Church (photo by author)

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