Not hating our enemies is hard.

So, I’m sure you’re at least vaguely aware of the massacre that’s happening in Syria. ISIS. Killing innocent Christians. Fear that something like this could move to America. Fear that it already has.

I saw something on Facebook: a plead for God to end the lives of those who were ending the lives of the Christians in their communities. I was concerned by this. By praying for the death of someone, doesn’t that sink us to our enemies’ level? If we’re at the level of praying for someone’s death, the hatred we must be harboring in our hearts must be immense.

Part of me wants someone, anyone, to do something that will stop the slaughter in Syria, but I, we, need to remember that by dying for us, Christ called us to a high standard of love and mercy. When he was hung up on the cross, Christ did not die only for the good Catholics and Christians who say grace before meals and worship every Sunday. He did not die for and love everyone except ISIS.

He died that death for ISIS, too.

Are they doing wrong? Well… duh. Killing is wrong, no matter what someone has done, because life is a gift that God should be in control of. But that doesn’t give us the right to assume that we are better than people and that they are too far gone for redemption and hopeless.

Look at St. Paul. ISIS is basically doing the same thing that St Paul did thousands of years ago: killing followers of Christ in the name of God the Father.

If we ever doubt the ability of those we dislike, our enemies, to have a change of heart, just remember: St Paul’s actions prior to being knocked off his horse were uncannily similar to those of ISIS.

Searching for Augustine

Last week, it was the feast of St. Monica. During the day, a family friend posted the link to this video on Facebook. I thought it was nice and everything, and went on with my day.

That night, I went to daily mass on campus, and the chaplain preached about Saint Monica and how her persevering prayer was responsible for the conversion of her son, Augustine.

Sound familiar? It did to me. Especially since I had recently decided to give up praying for a special intention, because nothing seemed to be happening.

In our lives, we all have “Augustines”, people we pray for, but who don’t seem to change, or who God doesn’t seem to answer any prayers about. I know I have. And I know I’ve almost given up on them. Thank God that Monica, because of her maternal love, didn’t give up on Augustine!

We are all called to be like Saint Monica, to pray and trust, even when God seems to be too busy doing something else. Find your Augustine, and pray like a Monica. God prevails.

 

Patron Saint of the Fall Semester

Saint Damien of Molokai, pray for us!

Using Jennifer Fulweiler’s Saint Generator (Like I did for my patron of the year) I prayed about a saint to claim as my patron for my current semester. I will ask for their intercession in my studies and in social life, as well as my spiritual life. I will also pray a novena to them, and learn more about them.

For the semester, my patron saint is Saint Damien of Molokai. I can’t wait to get to know him better and to ask for his intercession.

“My greatest pleasure is to serve the Lord in his poor children rejected by other people.”