Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Loving Our Enemies

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Loving Our Enemies

Article excerpt


By Jim Forest (Orbis, 2014)


Jesus' commandment to love our enemies might be the hardest to follow. It is a transformational directive that is at the heart of his instruction to do good to those who hate you. Jim Forest's book Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment is an excellent introduction to this nonviolent love that Jesus demands of us.

Along with scripture, Forest draws upon his many years of involvement in working for peace, his relationship with noted peacemakers such as Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, as well as literary greats like Dostoevsky and C. S. Lewis to make the case for nonviolence.

The first section, "Thistles and Figs," deals with the theoretical underpinnings of love of enemies. Forest talks about the power of story and our need to confront the John Wayne narrative that leads to revenge and violence. He explores the concept of the enemy, recognizing that sometimes our greatest enemy is within each of us. …

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