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Dear father,

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ everyday for gifting us with such a precious master as you are: how much good you do, through your advice, to the readers faltering in their faith, but also to those who wish to improve it! I often remember you in my prayers and Saint Rosaries.

Help me, please, to clarify this doubt:

Jesus teaches us that love towards our neighbour is an important value of faith, that we should help others and forgive them in every circumstance. Is this right or wrong?

It often happens to me to hear people cursing, so I immediately ask Jesus to forgive them. They are atheists, unbelievers, and they do not know the evil they are causing. I even turn to Saint Faustina Kowalska to ask for her intercession in front of our Lord, praying for their forgiveness and conversion: if only you knew how many times I have to say this prayer!

The problem is that I do not have any feeling of love for these people; on the contrary, if it were me, I would leave them in their corruption, given their cruel hatred for Jesus. I despise these people and I would never forgive them.

But then I think that Jesus came to the earth for them, too. Therefore, I bite the bullet, and with all my good will I pray for these miserable brothers, I pray for Jesus to touch their hearts and save them.

I go as far as praying to their guardian angels, too, so that they mend their ways.  I remember that Padre Pio often talked to other people’s guardian angels. Sometimes it does work, you know? What a great power guardian angels have!

Anyway, I do it merely because of the love I feel for Jesus Christ, because I feel that he asks me to do it. I try to forgive them with all myself, I manage to do it with a lot of effort, but do not ask me to love these atheistic and unbelieving people, attached to Mammon, to the corrupt world. I just can’t do it.  I can, at best, feel sorry for them, pity them.  But the true love is solely and exclusively for Jesus Christ. (…).

What should I do, dear father? Advise me, please, for I do not know what to do with these unbelievers and I wish to rid myself of this guilt I feel, because even though I help them and I forgive them, I do not feel love, any love for them!

I deeply thank you for your patience.


Dear Maria,

1. It is necessary to distinguish between sensitive and spiritual love.

Sensitive love is also made of enthusiasm and joy of being with certain people.

  • You cannot feel this kind of love for everybody, but only for those who are similar to you in the way they think, in their feelings, behaviour, lifestyle, etc.

Towards certain people – because of their personality and the extreme difference between our feelings and ideas and their ones – we feel repulsion on a sensitive level.

  • Again, this is just a feeling, and as such, it is not a sin.

2. It becomes a sin only when we wish harm to these people. And you do not want this, because you want to save them all. What you call guilt may simply be the first temptation to wish them harm. I want to reassure you about this because you wish these people were God’s friends. You pray for this to happen and you rightly invoke for them the favorable intercession of their Angels and Saints.

3. You say that sometimes you feel a kind of hatred towards these people. But from the overall of your email, I may say that it is a saint kind of hatred. Saint Thomas says that a saint form of hatred exists. He starts from what David says in the Psalm 119:113: “I hate every hypocrite”. In that moment David was talking under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, Saint Thomas says, “The prophet hated the unjust, as such, and the object of his hate was their injustice, which was their evil. Such hatred is perfect, of which he himself says: “I have hated them with a perfect hatred”.

Now hatred of a person’s evil is equivalent to love of his good.

Hence also this perfect hatred belongs to charity” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 25, 6, ob 1).

It is their evil that you hate, not them as human beings, whom you wish to be redeemed by the Blood of Christ. 

5. Saint Thomas then adds: “We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us” (Ib., ob 4). 

6. Saint Agustine, too, wonders how we can love sinners.

He says: “Loving sinners seems, at first, a paradox.

Are they not the enemies of God, the scandal of the Church, the leprosy, often invisible, but always harmful to society? Surely. And this kind of love could never be understood if we did not distinguish between sin and sinner.

Whichever its appeals are, sin is always despicable.

But, thank God, no matter how guilty he is, the sinner has always within himself the chance of resurrection and regeneration and thus he is entitled to our interest.

So, we hate his guilts, but we address the best of our mercy to his fallen soul.

We are much more obliged to do it because God himself set an example. Why did He incarnate? Why did He shed his blood? Why did He die on the Cross, if not for the sinners?

Through his Sacrifice, He wanted to free them from the devil and open for them the path of salvation, thus giving the highest proof of his love and the privilege of participating in His own life.

Therefore, beware not to avoid sinners as though they were the den of pestilence! Let us meet them with Christ, remembering that no one is without sin and that, having we received many benefits from the divine mercy, when we bend over their miseries, we are just giving a small part of what we have received” (Homilies on the Gospel of John 7:21).

I thank you for your question and I hope I reassured you.

And as I heartily thank you for remembering me in your prayers and Saint Rosaries, I guarantee I will do the same.

I bless you and I wish you all the best.

Father Angelo