23 October 2009

Unnatural Act of Forgiveness (2nd of 2)

"Docimedes has lost two gloves. He asks that the person who has stolen them should lose his mind and eyes in the temple where she appoints." (A Roman curse, Bath, England)

Jesus Christ:
"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 sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
Matthew 5:43-48 (English Standard Version)
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September 1, 1939

I and the public know
What all school children learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

[lines 19-22] - by W.H. Auden

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"Through...prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God. Jesus does not promise that when we bless our enemies and do good to them they will not despitefully use and persecute us. They certainly will. But not even that can ...overcome us, so long as we pray for them...We are doing vicariously for them what they cannot do for themselves."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German Lutheran pastor, theologian, participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, a founding member of the Confessing Church. Imprisoned, and then executed on April 9, 1945 in Nazi Germany).

"It is ironic that the wrong-doer empties himself of all influence over the one he has wronged. At this point the one wronged is in charge. The only question now is: what is he going to do with the situation now that he is in control? If he chooses to commit the wrong-doer to God and pray for him, the wounded one actually the steers the relationship. But, on the other hand, if he chooses to retaliate, he not only loses any influence but becomes a double victim. You see, he's been wronged once, and then wounds himself by acting out and perpetuating the evil of wrongdoing through his own vengeance." - Charity Johnson