Sunday, April 9, 2017

curse our enemies?

Today in A Year with the Church Fathers, we hear from St. Leo the Great. He tells us about loving our neighbors.

And what he tells us is pretty powerful. That our neighbors include all of humanity. No matter how we feel about them... no matter what they've done. That includes child molesters. That includes ISIS. That includes the guy in front of you in traffic. Everyone.

What's the alternative, you might ask? Well... we could hate them. We could curse them. And just as blessings actually do affect the object of our blessing through the spiritual reality and into their physical one, so do curses affect the object of our curses.

But the thing to remember is that our blessings and our curses affect us, too. When you bless your neighbor, it makes you into a more loving person. It benefits YOU. When you hate and curse your enemy, you are hurting them, sure. But you're hurting yourself far more. You are becoming the kind of person who hates, who curses... and you're pushing yourself away from God, who is love.

So let us learn to love. Is it easy? Of course not. The victims of Auschwitz did not find it easy to love and forgive the people who tortured them. But Corrie ten Boom did in fact do just that.

If she can do it, I think I can at least try.

God, thank You for blessing the good and evil alike... because I've been both of those.