To love one’s enemies.
(cf Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27; Rule of Benedict 4.31)
No one doubts that Jesus gave this command, nor that it’s central to Christian living. Day-to-day, we often act as though it’s just an interesting possibility to consider.
In StBenedict’s toolbox, love is the tool that lets us refrain from returning evil. Without it, we only hold back our angry words through white-knuckle self-restraint, stony avoidance, or even passive-aggressive “helpfulness.”
We often hear that love is a choice. It is a learned choice, a habit of the heart not gained in a day. Lent is the season for honing our skill with this most important of tools.
Let’s do it.