Monday, December 1, 2014

Love your enemies

What a revolutionary idea, not only during Jesus’ lifetime but also today; this is a difficult objective we Christians should always strive for. It is a challenging idea, which contradicts our secular understanding of our existence, of politics, of life in the world. Not everyone can achieve this. But how fulfilling would it be if only we could truly achieve this. Archimandrite Sophrony, from the Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist, Essex, examines this significant issue, stating:

“‘Love your enemies.’ Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is painful. But the moral beauty of Christ attracts us to such a degree that we are ready to bear all trials, as long as we are being raised up into His Spirit. These is no other choice. Christ has given His divine life to those who are created in His image, but the only response He received was hatred. Today, after two thousand years of Christianity, what do we see? The contemporary world is losing Christ, losing eternal life, more and more. The deep darkness of sinful passions, hatred, domination, wars of all kinds, are what make up our earthly existence. In this situation, Christ has given this commandment to those who decide to follow Him: ‘Love your enemies’. Why is the world afraid of such a God? Can one find a better principle than this: bless those who curse you, love your enemies? One cannot love without suffering. The greatest pain is that of loving to the utmost. Christ loved so much that he gave Himself up to a terrible death. The saints too. Paradise always costs this price. Prayer for the world is the fruit of extremely deep and acute suffering.” [1]

[1] Sakharov, Archimandrite Sophrony, Words of Life, (Essex, Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist, 2010), p. 23. 

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