I have always been told to love my neighbor as myself and even to love my enemies, as if the first command weren’t challenging enough. After all, some people are just easier to love than others. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (that amazing humanitarian whom the manager of the Empire State Building refused to honor with blue and white lights on the anniversary of her birthday) reminds us that ‘it is easy to love the lovely.’ She knew. Here she was, a poor woman from Eastern Europe, who went to the poorest city in one of the poorest countries in the world and decided to love its inhabitants with her daily actions. She loved the discarded people of India—the ones who were left to die in the streets by their own citizens. How a woman her size—I think she was 4’9” on an good day, could lift a dying man and place him in a bed to live out the completion of his life with dignity is a feat I will never understand, and yet she did it again and again. Lest you think this I a sermon on how to be more like Mother Teresa (which I am not authorized to do, as she is a great woman and I am not), think again.
I find myself in the confessional more times than not because I find it so hard to carry out the aforementioned commands—love my neighbor, and love my enemy. G. K. Chesterton, one of the great English writers in of the 20th century (haven’t heard of him? check him out), tells us that we are commanded to love both neighbor and enemy because they are usually the same person. Not a bad point, I must say, but, then again, he made a lot of good points. I usually have to share with the priest a litany of unkind thoughts that I’d had about this person or that person in the past few days or weeks. If I happen to see so-and-so on the news that day, or such-and-such a person who is making horrible policies that take way the few rights we have remaining in our ever-eroding republic, my first reaction is the desire to reach my hands through the TV and throttle his or her neck. After a few choice words of color, I settle down and remind myself to say a prayer for so-and-so or such-and-such, and that works until the next time I see them on TV or on the cover of just about every magazine and newspaper printed in the free world.
There is one person in particular for whom I have to pray on a daily basis. The minute I think of him, my blood starts to boil, and a variety of interesting phrases pops into my head. So I decided just today to come up with a new surefire method of how to love this person. Maybe you will be able to find some solace here or perhaps to try this method on an enemy-neighbor of your choice.
Let’s say, just for fun, that the person you have a hard time loving (thinking kind thoughts towards) is George Soros. I don’t know why I picked him; maybe because he’s one guy with a heck of a lot of policy-influencing power and much of it in opposition to all of us human beings. He just fits so well into my scenario.
So what I do is I take the person, as old as wrinkly as he might be (not lovely) and Benjamin Button him all the way back to babyhood. Surely there had to be a time in George’s life when he was cute, cuddly, and even, perhaps, lovable. His mother loved him at least enough to give birth to him—something poor George doesn’t allow others to do, as he is one of the staunches pro-abortion autocrats ever to grace this planet. And I say ‘poor’ George, for as rich as he is in physical wealth, he truly is the poorest man on the planet.
I imagine little Georgie in his cute little onesy or maybe even in his feet-y pajamas. Then I imagine me giving him his little bath while he plays with his rubber ducky in the tubby. In my scenario, I take little Georgie out of the tub and wrap him in his cute little fluffy receiving towel, dry off his little curls, and sing him a lullaby. In other words, I give him a chance of being loved the only possible way I can, and through one of the ways in which he (through his financing of abortion) does not permit others to feel.
So George, next time you feel the urge to give more money to Planned Parenthood (as if it needs any more—nonprofit, my a**) think about baby Georgie, in the arms of me, your neighbor, rocking you to sleep.