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Pope in Santa Marta: Think of an enemy that wants to hurt you and forgive him


In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope explains that although it is difficult, one must forgive his enemies.

POPE FRANCIS
"It will do us well today to think of an enemy - I think we all have someone - one who has hurt us or wants to hurt us or who wants to hurts us. The mafia's prayer is, 'you will pay for it.' The Christian prayer is, 'Lord, give him your blessing and teach me to love him.'”

The pope explains that sometimes, the small things that are not forgiven make people draw away from their family, their friends and those around them.

EXTRACTS OF PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)
“To pray for those who want to destroy me, my enemies, so that God may bless them: This is truly difficult to understand. We can recall events of the last century, like the poor Russian Christians who, simply for being Christians, were sent to Siberia to die of cold. And they should pray for the executing government that sent them there? How can that be? Yet many did so: they prayed. We think of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Should they pray for the dictator who sought a ‘pure race’ and killed without scruple, even to pray that God should bless him? And yet many did so.”

“There is an infinite distance between us – we who frequently refuse to forgive even small things – and what the Lord asks of us, which he has exemplified for us: To forgive those who seek to destroy us. It is often very difficult within families, for example, when spouses need to forgive one another after an argument, or when one needs to forgive their mother-in-law. It’s not easy… Rather, [we are invited] to forgive those who are killing us, who want us out of the way… Not only forgive, but even pray that God may watch over them! Even more, to love them. Only Jesus’ word can explain this.”

“It would do us well, today, to think of our enemy – I think all of us have one – someone who has hurt us or wants to hurt us. The Mafia’s prayer is: ‘You’ll pay me back.’ The Christian prayer is: ‘Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.’ Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.”