Forgiving our enemies

Mar 22, 2021 | Guest Author

“Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

The path of forgiveness is a difficult, arid and exhaustive process that requires time, effort and openness to the action of the Spirit of the Lord. Yet, Jesus challenges us to love our enemies. Loving someone is not only a feeling, although it can be as well, but it is a decision: to desire the good of the other and act in their favor in what is within my power. Loving those who have offended us is not, “profitable,”  as Pope Francis says: ” “it impoverishes us because it makes us poor like Jesus, who, when he came to us, lowered himself and became poor for us.

To forgive is not to forget the offense received, but on the contrary it is to remember that we have renounced to do justice by our own hand. That is why the challenge of forgiving and loving those who offend us is to walk the path and the process of forgiveness and love, open to a promise and a hope; the one that the Lord has made in the life of each brother and sister. How to do it? It means looking at others how the Lord sees them, which is necessary to get rid of anger mixed with pain. We forgive and love by first receiving the “First Love” that God has for us, which is what will give us the strength and drive to make this sometimes very difficult path. “Love opens us up to others, becoming the base of human relations. It enables us to overcome the barriers of our own weaknesses and our own prejudices. The love of Jesus in us creates bridges, teaches new paths, stimulates the dynamism of fraternity.” (Pope Francis)

May the Lord give us the grace of his gaze on others and on ourselves so as not to immobilize our lives in the moment of offense and pain, opening ourselves to the gaze of the promise and hope that each one of us is.

  • Bettina Raed
    International Coordinator of Click To Pray


The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.