featured image


For Holy Week, Anne DeSantis offers a reflection on forgiveness and prayer.

Holy Week is a special time to pray and to walk with Jesus. It is the most sacred time in the Catholic Church and beyond. There is no other time of year quite like Holy Week as we pray more, fast, and give to those in need. 

Being Catholic is a beautiful calling to put vocation first, love the Lord, love family, and live a mission. The sacraments of the Church are the focal point of all we do and who we are. They are how we live our mission, both individually and within our families. With that said, there are ways that we as Catholic Christians can focus in on the greatest of ways to imitate Jesus, especially during a holy season such as Lent and beyond. One of those ways is to forgive and to love an enemy. But how is this done? 


How to Love an Enemy 

Enemies come in all shapes and sizes within our lives. Sometimes they are past friends or family. Sometimes they are acquaintances or former co-workers or neighbors. Perhaps they are sadly even other Catholics or people of faith or those with whom we go to church or have worked in ministry in the past. Jesus understands all of this as some of His worst enemies were those He broke bread with and worked with in spreading the Gospel.  

The same can happen to us. It is hard to love our enemies, and there are many ways to do it. The best way to love an enemy is to forgive them from the heart. 




Loving an Enemy from the Heart 

To love our enemies in our hearts, we must detach ourselves from our feelings. This sounds very difficult, and yes, it is. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can attempt to do this. It takes work, but more importantly it takes a great deal of prayer. It does not require obsessive prayer with the expectation that, as if we’d placing money inside a slot machine, we will get results. Forgiveness is not really about results at all: it is about trusting God and believing in His love and mercy to make things right. This is the greatest thing we can do: taking the first step to love an enemy from the heart. 


Click to tweet:
Forgiveness is not really about results at all: it is about trusting God and believing in His love and mercy to make things right. #CatholicMom


Prayer for an Enemy 

Here is a prayer to say for an enemy to bring healing: 

Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for giving your life for me and for all for the salvation of the world. During this Holy Week, we pray for all those who suffer, those who lack support, and those who are marginalized. With them in mind, we also pray for those people who may have caused pain in the lives of other people. We pray for those who live their lives without care or knowledge of your love and those who have been the cause of the suffering of the innocent and those who cry out in pain to you for healing. Only you can bring them the peace and the love they need and deserve. We ask you to shower down your love not only to the rejected and suffering of our world but also to those who live without you in their hearts and lives. Help us as a people to forgive them and help us to live out your gospel at every moment of our lives. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 



Copyright 2023 Anne DeSantis
Images: Canva