Thought for the Day – 18 June – Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:38-42
Pope Francis: to love your enemies, prayer is the way
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“Pray for the one who hurt me?” the Pope asked. “Yes,” he answered, “because it changes lives.” If we think it is impossible, then pray, the Pope said. Pray every day for the grace to forgive and the grace to love.
“This advice: ‘Be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy.’ And then: ‘You shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’,” the Pope remarked. Forgiveness and prayer are the way to do this. “This is the way of holiness,” he said. “If all men and women of the world learned this, there would be no wars, there would not be.”
Wars begin “in bitterness, rancour, the desire for revenge, to make someone pay. But that destroys families, destroys friendships, destroys neighbourhoods, destroys so much,” he said. For Pope Francis, this is why we must pray always for the grace not to hold grudges and for “the grace to pray for our enemies, to pray for the people that do not love us, the grace of peace.”
If we make this our daily prayer, the Pope continued, even just praying one prayer a day for our enemies, this is how we will “win” and make progress “on the path of holiness and perfection.” In the end, “evil is overcome by good,” he said, and “sin is won with generosity.” “Prayer is an antidote against hatred, against wars, these wars that start at home, which start in the neighbourhood, which begin in families,” he said.
The Pope said if he knows that someone wants to hurt him and does not love him, “I pray especially for him.”
“Pray for there to be peace.”
“Prayer is an antidote against hatred.”
Pope Francis 19 February 2017