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Love Your Enemies

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