Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love My Enemies

(Sermon on the Mount, lithograph, part of a
series on the Gospel of Matthew, found here,
by Otto Dix, 1891-1961, German Expressionist

On June 1, we began our study of love with one of the most thought-provoking statements ever made about this virtue.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells his followers, “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, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~ Matthew 5:43-48

It isn’t easy.


I love my enemies, those I forgive;
they are my friends.
But at times, when fate lies like a stone,
there is a dying in my soul,
and I’m prepared to love even those
no one should forgive,
just because life is hard work.
Any life. Any at all.

. . . You burned down my house
so you could warm yourself by the fire.
You trampled my hopes.
Who can measure my loss?
Still, I’m grateful, friend:
you didn’t kill me,
though you’re stronger than I am
and don’t believe in anything at all.

~ Leonid Zavalniuk (1931-2010), Russian poet and songwriter

1 comment:

Carol Shedd said...

Maria, I saw an exhibition last year of Otto Dix's artwork about WWII German artistic life and was very moved by his images -- as I am by this poem.