Monday, January 24, 2005

Praying for enemies

In light of Matthew 5:43-47, consider the following ...
A Prayer for My Enemies
by Anselm (1033-1109 AD)

Almighty and tender Lord Jesus Christ,
I have asked you to be good to my friends,
and now I bring before you what I desire in my heart
for my enemies.

If what I ask for them at any time
is outside the rule of charity,
whether through weakness, ignorance, or malice,
good Lord, do not give it to them
and do not give it back to me.

You who are the light, lighten their darkness;
you who are the whole truth, correct their errors;
you who are the true life, give life to their souls . . .

Tender Lord Jesus,
let me not be the cause of the death of my brothers,
let me not be to them
a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.

Let them be reconciled to you and in concord with me,
according to your will and for your own sake.

Do this, my good Creator and my merciful Judge,
according to your mercy that cannot be measured.
Forgive me all my debts
as I before forgive all those indebted to me.
Perhaps this may not be so
because in your sight I have not yet done this perfectly,
but my will is set to do it,
and to that end I am doing all I can.

I have prayed as a weak man and a sinner;
you who are mighty and merciful, hear my prayer.