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Enroll Your Enemies

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By Chris Sparks (Dec 31, 2014)
Many people will enroll family members or friends in the Association of Marian Helpers so that they may share in the spiritual benefits of the Holy Masses, prayers, and good works of the Marians. They will arrange prayer for the deceased through memorials, enrollments, and Gregorian Masses. Pilgrims will remember their loved ones during Mass or prayers at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, and perhaps light a candle for the needs and intentions of those whom they care about. These are good works of charity, which please Jesus and Mary greatly. They help your family and friends a lot. Now let's take it a step further, in obedience to the teachings of the Gospels.

Jesus taught some rather shocking things during his lifetime. One of the hardest, the most shocking teachings out of them all comes in the Gospel of Matthew in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount.

[Jesus said,] "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect" — Mt 5:43-48.

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.

"It's not natural!" some people say. "Pray for him? Offer a Rosary for her? Love them when they do not love me? Forgive those who have maliciously hurt me? Not natural at all!" Of course it's not natural. It's supernatural.

This is one of those teachings of Christ that force us to realize our own limitations as fallen creatures. We cannot obey this teaching under our own power. We must be set on fire with God's own love, with the presence and action of the Holy Spirit, in order to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. We must love as God loves; we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. We must pray for our enemies, asking that God send His grace to them, increase their virtue, draw them to all truth, love, and goodness, and make them great saints.

We must pray — and the greatest prayer of all is the Mass.

So let's all commit, in this New Year, to arrange for Masses to be said for the repose of the souls of our enemies. Let's plan to enroll in the Association of Marian Helpers the people we can't stand. Enroll the irritating, the bothersome, the slothful, the annoying, and set in motion Masses, Rosaries, and Chaplets on their behalf.

That rude person at work? Enroll them. That nosy neighbor? Enroll them. That person who died, and you gave a little sigh of relief? Enroll them, or have Gregorian Masses said for them. The enemies of our country and our Church? Definitely enroll them, for the grace of God is mighty to convert people, change lives, save souls, and sanctify the most unlikely people.

Let a great wave of grace pour in the new year for the conversion of the enemies of the Church, the salvation of the souls of the strange, and the sanctification of all those we hold least dear, but must love as brothers and sisters. Let us do the greatest acts of charity possible for those whom we struggle hardest to love, and this will be a year to remember, a year of great hope and change as God's grace works in our hearts and the hearts of those for whom we pray. Love your enemies, we are told, and the life, love, and peace of God will be yours.

To enroll others, you can speak to one of our associates by calling us toll free at 1-800-4MARIAN (1-800-462-7426). Learn how you can become a Marian Helper — helping the Marians to spread the message of The Divine Mercy and devotion to Mary Immaculate.

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Psalm - Jan 2, 2015

There is someone at church who continually hurts my feelings and I won't respond in the same and choose to continually forgive the person. I don't want bitterness to set in my heart so when I go to confession Father often has given me the penance to pray for them; Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, or offer Mass. This is an excellent suggestion and something to prayerfully consider. I would love to see her change how she treats "people" but especially me.

Megan - Jan 6, 2014

Chris, this is a wonderful article and a wonderful idea! I love the insight. It gives me a lot to think and pray about.