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Mt 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 





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Praying for enemies

Enemies is such a strong word, and may seem a hard label to assign someone.  But the “enemies” and “those who persecute” who Jesus commands us to love can take many forms.  Perhaps it is the person on social media who insists on attacking others. Maybe it is the coworker who seems to go out of his or her way to make our job more difficult. It might be the friend or family member who gossips or shares our private information with the world. It is much easier to wish these people ill—or at the very least not wish them well—than it is to pray for them.

But Jesus sets a high bar for us.  He doesn’t say “be fairly good,” or “do a little bit.”  He tells us to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  No pressure there!  Jesus sets this bar for us, knowing that we may fail at times, but reminding us that we shouldn’t stop trying to love those who hurt us, and recognizing that they too are God’s children.  

Who is an “enemy” in my life who I can pray for today?

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

 





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Prayer

Lord God, you love us even when we fail, and you love all those around us.  Help us to treat our “enemies” as friends, and let go of grudges, anger, and hurt.  In all that we do, may we try our best to emulate your perfect, all-loving heart.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 





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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions
Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

February 24, 2018

Scripture

Mt 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


Ignatian Reflection

Praying for enemies

Enemies is such a strong word, and may seem a hard label to assign someone.  But the “enemies” and “those who persecute” who Jesus commands us to love can take many forms.  Perhaps it is the person on social media who insists on attacking others. Maybe it is the coworker who seems to go out of his or her way to make our job more difficult. It might be the friend or family member who gossips or shares our private information with the world. It is much easier to wish these people ill—or at the very least not wish them well—than it is to pray for them.

But Jesus sets a high bar for us.  He doesn’t say “be fairly good,” or “do a little bit.”  He tells us to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  No pressure there!  Jesus sets this bar for us, knowing that we may fail at times, but reminding us that we shouldn’t stop trying to love those who hurt us, and recognizing that they too are God’s children.  

Who is an “enemy” in my life who I can pray for today?

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

 


Prayer

Lord God, you love us even when we fail, and you love all those around us.  Help us to treat our “enemies” as friends, and let go of grudges, anger, and hurt.  In all that we do, may we try our best to emulate your perfect, all-loving heart.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

THE POPE'S PRAYERS

Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

PRAYER REQUESTS

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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