Caesarius Of Arles Sermon On Enemies courtesy of Holy Myrrh Bearers Church.
Those who close their eyes to the demands of love fall asleep in the desire for worldly pleasures. Therefore be watchful. Eating, drinking, carousing, gambling and hunting are pleasures but evils of every kind follow in the wake of these vanities.
No one can deny that they are enjoyable, but the love of God’s law must come first, for to love God means to keep His commandments. Which commandments? You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and you must love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
My brothers and sisters, to widen our hearts, we need not depend upon ourselves. Ask God to help you love one another — to love everyone without exception, not just your friends, but enemies as well, not because they are your brothers and sisters in Christ, but so that they may be. Pray that you may always have a warm, fraternal love for other people, both for those who have become your brothers and sisters, and for your enemies, that they become such.
Whenever you love brothers or sisters you love friends, for they are already with you, joined to you in faith unity. If they live virtuously you love them as people who have been changed from enemies into brothers and sisters.
But suppose you love people who do not yet believe in Christ, or if they do, yet believe as the devil believes — they believe in Christ, but still do not love him.
You must love just the same. You must love even people like that. You must love them as brothers and sisters. They are not such yet, but you must love them so that they may become such through your kindness.
All our love, then, must be fraternal.
About Saint Caesarius