Loving an "Ex" Enemy

A dear friend of mine wrestles the pain inflicted on her for years by her ex-husband, who might fairly be described as selfish, vindictive, callous, and immature. Because of her deep faith, however, my friend has received the strength to cope and persevere.

Her faith has, at times, made her feel smugly superior to her “ex.” She thought it made her look better than him in the eyes of others. She’s also harbored deep resentments against him, and would secretly rejoice whenever misfortune came his way.

Over time, my friend realized that her attitudes were incompatible with her faith. So she started to fast and pray for her ex-husband, asking that he himself might come to know the Lord and enjoy happiness and peace, even if she weren’t part of the picture.

My friend’s journey was inspired by Jesus’ words in today’s gospel. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asks each one of us to love unconditionally, just as our heavenly Father loves indiscriminately- including those who’ve hurt us, by hoping for their good, and praying for their salvation.

Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/061411.shtml

Photo Credit: Coolm36 via Creative Commons

2 Replies to “Loving an "Ex" Enemy”

  1. Perhaps the problem is that she thought of him as her EX-husband. In fact, such a thing does not exist when viewed from the eyes of our faith. Unless there was no annulment, he remains her husband and if there was an annulment, then he never really was.

    I get what you mean in the story, but, as a priest, don’t you think it worth pointing that part out? In fact, are we not called to pray for our spouses – even if they try to be our enemy (or we think of them as such)? Part of our vocation is to pray for the soul of our spouse and their eternal salvation – which may not match earthly happiness.

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