I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes the sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike. Matthew 5: 44-45

“The first thing we are called to do when we think of others as our enemies is to pray for them. This is certainly not easy. It requires discipline to allow those who hate us or those toward we have hostile feelings to come into the intimate center of our hearts. People who make our lives difficult and cause us frustration, pain, or even harm are the least likely to receive a place in our hearts. Yet every time we overcome this impatience with our opponents and are willing to hear the cry of those who persecute us, we will recognize them as brother and sisters too. Praying for our enemies is therefore a real event, the event of reconciliation. It is impossible to lift our enemies up before God and at the same time continue to hate them. . . . Love for one’s enemy is the touchstone of being a Christian.”

to read the rest of this devotional see Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen

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