Dietrich Bonhoeffer contemplated in the Cost of Discipleship, one of the most difficult concepts of Jesus’s to follow, that of praying for our enemies. Bonhoeffer was persecuted and eventually murdered by the Nazi’s just before the end of WWII. He writes, “We are approaching an age of widespread persecution. The Christians will be hounded from place to place, subjected to physical assault, maltreatment and death of every kind…By praying for such enemies, we do vicariously for them what they cannot do for themselves. Who needs our love more than those who are consumed with hatred? Through prayer we stand beside our enemies and plead to God on their behalf.”
No matter your beliefs, praying or sending positive and spiritual thoughts towards those who hate, releases you from their hatred and turns them over to another power. Be consumed with love. Send the power of love to your enemies or those filled with hate and let go!
Peace and Joy!
I am currently reading the book, Prayer: Does it make any difference, by Philip Yancey. I started it several weeks ago for my morning spiritual read, not knowing that I would find myself praying and begging God for the healing of my friend and colleague, Derek, who was paralyzed in a skiing accident a week ago today. It has helped me to understand the power and the limitations and the mind changing power of prayer, but I cannot understand the why of this happening. There is no explanation. We have all been deeply struck by his courage and by his wife Amanda’s amazing strength and caring love. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, I ask that you lift them up in thought and prayer for healing and the road that lies ahead.
I found this benediction in Yancey’s book and thought you might enjoy. Peace and love to you all.
A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Peace and joy!