Bless My Enemies O Lord
by Bishop Nikolai
“Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into Your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from the earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an un-hunted animal, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary… beneath Your tabernacle, where neither friends or enemies can slay my soul.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me: so that my fleeing to You may have no return; so that all hope in people may be scattered like cobwebs; so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul; so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins; arrogance and anger; so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven; so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that we have no enemies in the world except ourselves. One hates enemies only when failing to realize that they are not enemies but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world; friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.”
Excerpts with light edits of my own choosing.
Submitted by Elizabeth Todd
For further reflection, today we’re reading John 19:25-27 in our community lenten reader.