Before you begin your retreat, set aside some time for quiet reflection. Focus on your breathing. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and recognize that God is present with you as you continue this faith journey.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Being a loving person is central to following Jesus Christ. The Ten Commandments, which address how we are to live a life of love, begin by teaching us how we are to love God. They then address how we should live as family and in relationship with one another. Jesus, in his instruction and his example on the cross, teaches us that we are to love our enemies. This wisdom contradicts our culture of violence. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to follow Jesus in peace and love. We begin to live this love in our relationships with our families.
Is there anyone with whom I am having a difficult time?
What loving prayer can I offer for him or her? How can I be an example of Christ's peace?
(Ask the Lord to help you be a person of peace, using the following prayer or one of your own.)
Jesus, Prince of Peace, make my heart an instrument of your love and peace. Help me bring your peace, patience, and comfort to others.