We’re called to love our enemies (Luke 6:27). Loving enemies means granting our political enemies their humanity. This was Gandhi’s example when he shared tea with English military brass who were directly responsible for gunning down unarmed Indian civilians. This was Martin Luther King’s example when he sat at table with avowed racists and segregationists.
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The other day a colleague of mine said “We never know the burden someone is carrying.” Beneath the layers of every person there’s an unspoken load. When we realize this, patience and gentleness naturally arise. Tyrants carry the unspoken pain of estrangement from themselves. Otherwise they wouldn’t need to dominate others. Martyr personalities often harbor some form of self-hatred. All people— sadists, masochists, rich and poor, are afflicted. The Hindu saying is apropos: “The poor suffer on the street. The rich suffer in luxury.”
All are created in the image of God and our faith calls us to revere that image in all people (Genesis 1:27). We do this even when that imprint is buried behind layers of dysfunction.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.