Today I celebrated a Votive Mass “for any necessity” and I added the orations “for enemies”. I have cause to do so these days. There is a small group of people who are viciously stirring some pretty hateful stuff online.
In the Mass “for any necessity” the Gospel is from Mark 11, and it includes:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
I pray almighty God for the grace to help me forgive these people who are determined to hurt me as much as they can.
The Secret for the prayers “Pro inimicis” has the same pedigree as the Collect (which I wrote about HERE). There are slight variations in the books.
Oblatis, quaesumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et nos ab inimicis nostris clementer eripe, eisque indulgentiam tribue delictorum.
We beg You, O Lord, be appeased by these sacrificial offerings: and mercifully snatch us away from our enemies, and grant to them the forgiveness of sins.
The first thing to notice, is the understanding that God must be appeased. The offerings raised to God are propitiatory.
Our sufferings are allowed by God to get our attention, to chasten, correct, test, strengthen our love. There are many means by which that chastening, etc., can be delivered: sickness, disasters, the Devil, other people… often agents of the Devil when they are hostile and intentionally inflicting harm on someone.
Another way to look at it, when we suffer, well… frankly, we are sinners and to an extent we deserve it. Our world is not called “vale of tears” for nothing. None of us are free from sin. Correction from God is both fitting and good for us. Frankly, we bring a lot of our sufferings on ourselves.
But God will never allow anything that is truly harmful to us in the most important ways, that is, our spiritual life. What God allows can produce good results.
There are people in the world who work evil. Foreseen by God for us, they are permitted to harm us. God will offer us all the graces we need to endure them with holy resignation or holy resistance.
We have to pray both against our enemies and for them. Against is for, because they are not only hurting us, they are hurting themselves and endangering their immortal souls.
We must pray that they repent and seek the forgiveness of their sins. We must pray that they receive prevenient graces to feel remorse for their evil deeds and seek God’s forgiveness.
We should pray that God will give them exactly what they truly need.