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Loving our enemies : reflections on the hardest commandment

Author: Jim Forest
Publisher: Maryknoll, New York : Orbis Books, [2014]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Not everything Jesus taught must be regarded as a commandment. Counsels on voluntary poverty or celibacy, for instance, have been seen as an option for a small minority of Christ's followers. The same cannot be said about the love of enemies. This does not fall in the "if you would be perfect" category. It is, instead, basic Christianity, which Jesus taught through direct instruction, through parables, and by the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jim Forest
ISBN: 9781626980907 162698090X
OCLC Number: 879033733
Description: viii, 173 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Contents: Part I: Thistles and Figs. Changing Course --
What Does It Mean to Love? --
Who Is My Enemy? --
The Gospel according to John Wayne --
The Story of the Merciful Enemy --
A Cathedral Builder's Sense of Time --
Eyes Wide Open --
Battling Dragons, Taming Wolves, Befriending Lions --
Graced Moments --
Fear in the Dark --
Enemies at One's Table --
The Whirlpool of War --
Napoleon as Role Model --
Reconciliation before Communion --
Active Love --
Part II: Nine Disciplines of Active Love. Praying for Enemies --
Doing Good to Our Enemies --
Turning the Other Cheek --
Forgiveness --
Breaking Down the Dividing Wall of Enmity --
Refusing to Take an Eye for an Eye --
Seeking Nonviolent Alternatives --
Holy Disobedience --
A Life of Recognizing Jesus --
Part III: Epilogue. Two Old People and a Young Man with a Gun.
Responsibility: by Jim Forest.

Abstract:

Not everything Jesus taught must be regarded as a commandment. Counsels on voluntary poverty or celibacy, for instance, have been seen as an option for a small minority of Christ's followers. The same cannot be said about the love of enemies. This does not fall in the "if you would be perfect" category. It is, instead, basic Christianity, which Jesus taught through direct instruction, through parables, and by the example given with his own life. And yet it is undoubtedly the hardest commandment of all, one that runs counter to our natural inclinations. It is, as Jim Forest shows, a commandment that calls for prayer, discernment, and constant practice. Along with reflections drawn from scripture, the lives of the saints, and modern history, Forest offers "nine disciplines of active love," including "praying for enemies," "turning the other cheek," "forgiveness," and "recognizing Jesus in others," that make the love of enemies, if not an easier task, then a goal worth striving toward in our daily lives.

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