The love for equals is a human thing. It is a love of a friend for a friend, a brother or sister for a brother or a sister. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.
The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing. It is the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures and the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.
The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing. It means to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice. It is the love of the poor for the rich, of the person of color for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints who have this kind of love.
And then there is the love for the enemy. This is the love for the one who does not love you – but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured person’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. This is the love that conquers the world. A God Alert
Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45).
Thanks to Frederick Buechner