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Thought of the day
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday of the First week of Lent

"But I say to you, love your enemies"

 
Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop 
Sermons to the people, no. 37 ; SC 243
"But I say to you, love your enemies"

One of you will say: “I'm not able to love my enemies at all.” All through Holy Scripture God has said to you that you can, and do you answer him that, to the contrary, you can't? Now think about it: who are we to believe? God or you? Since he who is Truth itself cannot lie let human weakness leave off its futile excuses forthwith. He who is just cannot demand something impossible and he who is merciful will not condemn someone for something that person could not avoid. So why these evasions then? There is no one who knows better what we are capable of than he who has given us the ability. Such numbers of men, women, children, tender young girls, have borne flames, fire, sword and the wild beasts for Christ's sake without flinching, and we, do we say that we cannot bear the insults of unintelligent persons?...

Indeed, if only the good are to be loved, what are we to say of the action of our God, of whom it is written: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”? (Jn 3,16). For what good deeds are they that the world had done for God to love it so? Christ our Lord found us all to be not only evil but even dead on account of original sin; and yet... “he loved us and handed himself over for us” (Eph 5,2). In so acting he loved even those who did not love him, as the apostle Paul also says: “Christ died for the guilty” (Rm 5,6). And in his inexpressible mercy he gave this example to all humankind, saying: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29)


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