My husband and I managed to make it to 6:30 Mass this morning. Together. It will be the last weekday Mass that we will be able to atttend together with this associate pastor. He leaves on Thursday. During the homily it was obvious to me why the Lord got us to church this morning.
Father B said that this day's Mass is offered for those people who have harmed you, who are not your friends, who might be your enemies. That has been a theme in my prayer life lately--the mystery of how to pray for and love those enemies. Father basically said that first you pray for your enemies because you are supposed to, because it is the teaching, because it is the law. But the mystery comes in that by sincerely praying for enemies, you eventually will have a changed heart and you will love them. I am not quite there yet, but getting closer than I was.
And as we drove home from church our neighbors who had been our friends drove down the street and my hubby and I smiled and waved and they turned the other way with frowns. I could be all superior, or I could be all hurt about that. But, instead, I praise God that He has given me direction in dealing with people who have chosen to hate me.
While I would rather not have enemies. I would rather be loved by all. It doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes human nature and the world gets in the way of what God calls us to be. For me the challenge is to look at my own little garden in my soul and dig out the weeds of anger and hatred that try to take root, and only to water and cherish the beautiful flowers of love and mercy and forgiveness.
And this is what I hope. That not only will I have sincere and pure love for my enemies when I pray for them, but that my prayers will change their hearts. That one day these people who I now call my enemies will be my friends again.