Day 2 of the Novena

Set Free

Yesterday it was a question of my brother or sister. Today it’s a question of my enemy. One only has to live a little bit to identify one’s enemies and to become aware of the role that hate plays deep within the soul. Father Christian de Chergé, prior of the monastery of Tibhirine wrote this in his testament, “I have lived long enough to realize that I, too, am implicated in that evil which seems, sadly, to pervade the world, implicated even in that very evil which might blindly strike me down.” With ever-growing insight about me, Jesus tries to teach me how to love my enemies, and then quite unreasonably, commands me to do it!

Brother André discovered that before we did. Remember, when he was doorkeeper at Collège Notre-Dame, he was mocked and belittled all year long by the staff doctor. And then, all of a sudden, the unbeliever’s wife fell sick, so sick that the only recourse was to bring her secretly to Brother André. The faith and compassion of Brother André healed this woman, and at the same time, the hate and jealousy of the doctor.

When circumstances require, you’ll find “Love your Enemy” waiting right in your heart, in your gaze. My enemy can become a brother or sister to me. One day perhaps, we shall turn out to be the good thief in paradise. But for that to happen, I must tear away hatred from my soul, down here below.

Saint Joseph, how did you regard your enemies? How did you regard Jesus’ enemies? Teach me this gaze of truth and of serenity, this gaze of strength and sympathy, this gaze which blesses and disarms.

Make a Novena to Saint Joseph, from March 10 to 18, 2017.