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Saturday. [Rom. 1:7–12; Matt. 5:42–48] Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matt. 5:44). There is nobody on the earth without love. People love their parents and relatives, benefac?tors and protectors. But the feeling of love toward parents, relatives, protectors and benefactors is natu?ral and forms unaided in the heart; that is why the Lord does not give it value. True Christian love is proved by our relationship to enemies. Not only should light and incidental an?noyances not extinguish our love for others, but not even attacks and persecutions, misfortunes and dep?rivations, intentionally and hostilely inflicted. We must not only bless these people, but also do good to them and pray for them. See wheth?er you have such a disposition to?ward your enemies, and judge by this whether you have Christian love, without which there is no sal?vation.
Saint Theophan the Recluse