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Pope at Angelus Speaks on Challenge of Loving One's Enemies

‘It is not Optional – it is a Command’

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Pope Francis on February 24, 2019, spoke of one of the fundamental values of the Christian life – and also one of the most difficult for Christians to live: Love of Enemies.
The Holy Father’s remarks came before praying the noonday Angelus with the large crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. He has only shortly before concluded the February 21-24 abuse summit on the Protection of Minors in the Church.
“This Sunday’s Gospel  (Cf. Luke 6:27-38) relates to a key and characterizing point of the Christian life: love of enemies,” Pope Francis said. “Jesus’ words are clear: ‘I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you’ (vv. 27-28).
“It’s not optional; it’s a command.”
The Holy Father went on to explain that Jesus knows that this command is impossible for us to obey based on our own human abilities. However, Jesus became man to transform us and bring us to a greater level of love.
“We become capable of things that we never thought we could say or do, and that, rather, we would be ashamed of, but that now, instead, give us joy and peace,” Francis said. “We no longer have a need to be violent, with words and gestures; we discover ourselves capable of tenderness and goodness, and we feel that all this doesn’t come from us but from Him!
“And, therefore, we don’t boast, but we are grateful. There is nothing greater or more fecund than love: it confers on a person all his/her dignity, whereas the contrary, hatred, and revenge diminish him/her, marring the beauty of the creature made in the image of God.”
The Holy Father explained that this command – to respond to hate with love – allows us to create a new culture in the world. We can create the “revolution of love.”
The Holy Father’s Full Address

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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