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Love for enemies makes us like Christ, Pope tells congregation

CWN - June 18, 2013

In his homily at a daily Mass on Tuesday, June 18, Pope Francis said that loving one's enemies is difficult but necessary for those who follow Jesus Christ.

It is not easy, the Pope acknowledged, to love people who hate us-- to love terrorists, or those who exploit the poor and the elderly. In a sense, he said, it is even true that loving our enemies "impoverishes us." However, he added, that is true only in the sense that we become poor as Jesus was poor. In that poverty the Christian finds strength, he said.

Pope Francis encouraged the members of his congregation to pray for their enemies, asking God to change their hearts. "They have a heart of stone, but change it; give them a heart of flesh, so that they may feel relief and love."

The Pope suggested a regular examination of conscience: "Do I pray for my enemies." If the answer is Yes, he said, "Go on, pray more!"

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