Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Praying for Enemies

From Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, by way of Catholic Exchange.
I am going to share a genuine prayer of forgiveness which was the prayer of an unknown woman, found on a piece of wrapping paper in Ravensbruck concentration camp at the end of World War II:

O Lord, Remember not only the men and women of goodwill, but also those of ill will. But do not remember the suffering they inflicted upon us; remember the fruits we brought — thanks to this suffering, our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of this; and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.

I am in awe of this great love. It is not natural, but supernatural. It comes not from the human heart, but the Holy Spirit. I pray that we, too, can have such love for those who hate and torment us from the depths of evil to which they have sunk.

One of the themes you will see me revisit, time and again, is the sincere belief that great evils are only rarely defeated by force and laws. Force and laws can resist evil, and that is the proper use of them. But evils, be they terrorism, violence, abortion, pornography, drugs, or what have you, are only suppressed by force and laws. They are defeated only when evil hearts are transformed by love.

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