A life style of Penance

It’s not just a season.

By Cricket Aull, OFS
ON COMPASSION & PRAYER
“The first thing we are called to do when we think of others as our enemies is to pray for them. This is certainly not easy. It requires discipline to allow those who hate us or those toward whom we have hostile feelings to come into the intimate center of our hearts. People who make our lives difficult and cause us frustration, pain, or even harm, are least likely to receive a place in our hearts. Yet every time we overcome this impatience with our opponents and are willing to listen to the cry of those who persecute us, we will recognize them as brothers and sisters too. Praying for our enemies is therefore a real event, the event of reconciliation. It is impossible to lift our enemies up in the presence of God and at the same time continue to hate them. Seen in the place of prayer, even the unprincipled dictator and the vicious torturer can no longer appear as the object of fear, hatred, and revenge, because when we pray we stand at the center of the great mystery of Divine Compassion.”

Compassion: A Reflection on Christian Life ~ Henri Nouwen, Donald P. McNeal, and Douglas A. Morrison p. 109

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