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SPIRITUALITY


 

 

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

Who are your enemies? Not necessarily the one who steals your business or speaks ill of you, but he who tries to prevent you from seeking God's kingdom. The one who steals your business might be removing an attachment or obstacle to your salvation. But he who obstructs you from seeking God's kingdom is truly devilish and, therefore, an enemy.

Enemies, as we understand it above, are always persecutors. And persecutions are either external or internal. External is when they use physical tortures to discourage you from seeking God. Internal is when they incite you to lust, pride, impatience, injustice and uncharitableness.

External persecution produces red martyrs. Internal persecution produces white martyrs and is commonly described as monasticism.

The main goal of persecutors or enemies is to take you away from the truth. And the only one and true enemy is the devil; though the devil uses people who have allowed themselves to be used as his cohorts. When the devil uses people to distance you from the truth, this is external persecution. When the devil uses your own passions and vices to make you choose your own will rather than God's will, this is internal persecution. 

We usually have no valid reason to hate other people; but, enemies, we have every reason to hate them. They are really a hateful lot because they represent the devil in every aspect. But since there is still the human aspect in them and that makes them fall under the law 'to love your neighbor', to love one's enemies means that we should enter into our hearts and remove the hatred therein. 

An enemy is an evil man. As a man, he is a neighbor;  as evil, he is an enemy. We must love the man in him but hate the evil in him. The evil in him is both your enemy and his enemy. Love of enemies is . . . let us hate the evil in him but remove our hatred for the man in him. For often we hate both the evil and the man in him.

Loving one's enemy means to remove the hatred within us and take away the evil in him; though the second does not always work, the first will. 

   

 

(10-18-02)

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