Monthly Archives

October 1995

1995, Articles, Raiati

Love Your Enemies / October 15, 1995

Jesus wants me to have mercy on those who hate me out of covetousness or hurt me, for their inner misery has defeated them and made them loathe me. To have mercy is to embrace others, for I am a holder enlarged by Christ. Those who hate me have no chance to get rid of their aggressiveness unless I love them and offer them forgiveness and service.

            It is not enough to say: I do not reciprocate the hostility of the one who hates me. This is an apathetic attitude. I shall deliver him from the wound he caused himself. He would not be able to hurt me if I opened my heart for him to heal his wounds. I serve him firstly in my soul; I welcome him in it for he needs affection. This is why the Lord said “Love your enemies”, and then followed it by “pray for those who spitefully use you”, which means wish them all the best and help them achieve it. It is not only a matter of forgiveness, but also taking a good initiative to cause the enemy to repent and make him happy with his repentance.

            Loving enemies makes us sons of the Father in heaven. If we considered the enemy a brother, and lived this experience in our hearts, we shall know that we are the sons of God. This is why our Lord continues His speech about His father by saying: “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

            He unifies these and those in His heart, by the grace He bestows on them all. If He unifies them, why would you separate between friends and foes? God is a father; hence all of you are sons. This will help you gain the peace of mind; and those who used to hate you would also enjoy the peace of mind.

            This does not imply you would not be sad if someone showed their enmity. But forgiveness will make your sadness turn into happiness. You may feel pity for your enemies and be surprised at their injustice. However, compassion is not enough, for it is quiescent. You should instead open your hearts and try over and over to communicate with your enemies; and if you were able to talk to them, do it humbly. Do not focus on self-defense, do not rebuke angrily, and do not offend. If your offerings and openness are not welcomed, persevere with prayers for them. Mention their names in your prayers and ask Jesus to bless them to keep yourselves away from hatred. Undoubtedly, mercy will reach them one day.

            If someone showed his enmity, do not forget that the priority is his salvation. Do not take vengeance for what you call dignity; for your only dignity is the one given to you by God. It is love that makes us acquire our dignity.

            Why can you forgive? You can because you are a healer for all people. And God made you the healer of your enemies in particular, for a relation takes place between you. You are his healer, because you are the only one that knows about his illness. He reveals himself to you if he hates you. You shall not be concerned by your soul that he tried to hurt but failed to defeat. Your main concern is nothing but his soul wounded by hatred. His enmity is a chance for you to reciprocate his hostility by the righteousness the Christ has bestowed upon you. This would be the utmost joy for both of you.

Translated from Arabic – 15.04.10

Original Text: “أحبّوا أعداءكم” – 15.10.95

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1995, Articles, Raiati

Crucified Ego / October 1, 1995

All our spirituality emanates from the Cross by which we came to our salvation. Not only is It an icon by which we are blessed, but also It bears meanings glowing in us. Our Lord indeed surrendered voluntarily to sufferings and pain, for we conclude the prayers of the Holy Week by saying: “O Christ, our real God who laid down Himself and suffered for our salvation.” No one takes His life. He lays it down for the sheep. And the believer shall similarly give his life, for the Lord has claimed: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” To follow the Christ means to renounce your desires and your illegitimate interests and to abjure the worldly temptations, for the sake of being with the Christ. 

            In this regard, Paul declared: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).  He means that I was with the Lord and in His heart when He was crucified and He has given me life, for “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Just as the Christ is given for me, I shall give myself for Him and the others.

            The apostle continues his epistle to the people of Galatia by saying: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14).The “world” means the world of trespasses. If I live with the Christ, I am in no way related to the world of trespasses and these are dead for me. On the other hand, if the world of trespasses is present in me, then I have no existence. My complete separation from sins makes me crucified with the Christ. Therefore, as He triumphed over evil through the Cross and has risen, I have also triumphed over evil and been liberated from it.

            The Cross is indeed our way to the true life that is our pleasure in Christ and our acquiring His virtues and beauties. We do not boast in torture or in the means of torture. We shall not boast except in the victory given by the Lord to His loved ones. Thus we shall not rejoice in our sins, bad habits, domination or false glory, but rather we shall rejoice in Christ.

            As a result, I will be convinced that it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, just as Paul claimed. Before embracing the Crucified, my existence was based on my desires, glory and pride. But I have been set free from all of these and filled with the presence of Christ in the Holy Spirit who purifies me.

            If I love the Christ, He will become my personality, and I shall have nothing at all to be fully dedicated to the Christ. I would be denying myself and following the Christ, regardless of the troubles I might encounter. These hardships will turn into joys. Then I can follow the Christ to the Calvary, or I would be having the Cross as a way of life, and taking it up – on my shoulder – on my path to the resurrection.

Translated from Arabic –02.04.10

Original Text: “الأنا المصلوبة” – 01.10.95

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