Love your enemies
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
We all have people in our lives who cause us some level of anxiety or discomfort.
They may be intentionally seeking to harm us because of brokenness in their own life
More likely they are just lacking self-awareness, self-control or sensitivity and thus inadvertently cause us suffering.
Or, the suffering they cause us may be entirely the product of our own internal perceptions and judgements and reactions.
Regardless of the intentions of the person who triggers us, our unconscious brain leads us to avoid them, be defensive around them or freeze up in their presence. None of these reactions are conducive to love – which, St Thomas Aquinas taught, is consciously choosing the good of the other.
Praying for those whom our unconscious brain perceives as a threat is key.
In prayer we become aware of our unconscious reactions to certain people and in prayer we can consciously choose, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to will their good, their blessing, their flourishing.
Praying for others is the least difficult but probably the most important step towards a life of genuine loving.