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Good evening Father,

my name is Elisa, and I wrote to you in the past both to receive encouragement to confession and to ask how you can save a soul that blasphemes. Now, I get back to asking you, what does it mean to love your enemies? I pray the 15 Thursdays of Saint Rita and as a small sacrifice it is suggested to pray the Act of charity. When I read it, I realize that I am not a good Christian because I do not know how to love my enemy… I despise him, I do not respect him, how can you learn charity and make it the center of your existence?

Thanks in advance for your attention.

Priest’s answers

Dear Elisa,

1. No one can learn by himself to love his enemy, to love those who harm him.

It is natural not to love him.

2. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and presented us with the technique to do  that when he said: “But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Here is the technique: pray for those who harm you.

3. When we start praying for the people who made us suffer, in that moment, we open ourselves to God and we begin to look at them from His point of view.

And we remember that, when we dislike them, God loves them infinitely and always infinitely desires any good for them.

At least for a while, it becomes easier for us to love them in God and to desire for them true love, their conversion, their salvation.

4. The prayer that the Lord has taught us is the “Our Father”.

As I have already mentioned many times, St. Thomas emphasizes that the Lord educated us to say “Our Father” and not “my Father” because he wants everything we ask for at that moment, we do not ask only for us, but also for each of our neighbors, including our enemies, also.

5. Coming to the conclusion: try to pray the “Our Father” slowly and with devotion for your enemies.

You will see how instantly your heart opens and fills with good and heavenly feelings.

You will realize that there is no better way to eliminate the poison from our heart, that poison that makes us feel so bad.

6. A prayer pronounced as the Lord taught us is praiseworthy not only for us, but also for the person for whom we pray: praiseworthy for his conversion, for the awareness of having made us suffer and also for his duty to remedy.

May the Lord who comes for Christmas fill you with His love for everyone, in particular with the love He had for His enemies.

I wish you any good, I remind you in my prayers and I bless you.

Father Angelo

Translated by Jolanda Beraldi