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Our Lord instructs St. Gertrude...

How to Act towards Those Who Cause us Harm


"Love your enemies" [Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27] is still, for many Christians, a very difficult part of the Gospel to put into practice, since the world constantly teaches people to "hate your enemies" with vengeance, even to kill them "as an act of justice", as in "just wars".

For this reason, it is necessary to constantly remind the faithful of the importance of this commandment (1) and how it works (2). Although Jesus taught it to us two thousand years ago, we weak humans have the tendency to add exceptions or justifications for not keeping it.


St. Gertrude, born in 1263 in Eisleben, Saxony, was one of the leading spiritual figures of the Middle Ages. She spent almost her entire life in a convent, engaged in prayer, work and Scripture study. As a young woman in her twenties, she experienced a profound spiritual awakening, a born again mystical transformation of her interior life. Immersed in the person of Christ, she received many revelations and reached transcendent height of prayer and contemplation.

The five books of the "The Live and Revelations of St. Gertrude" contain a succession of visions, communications and mystical experiences which have received the approval of a number of holy mystics and distinguished theologians. The German original of the Revelations is lost but a Latin version appeared in Cologne in 1536. The first English translation was published in 1892.

Now, let's allow Him to speak to us through St. Gertrude...

The Live and Revelations of St. Gertrude (4)

Part III. Chapter LVI.

Of charity towards an erring brother

As the Saint [St. Gertrude] prayed one day for some persons who had formerly injured the convent seriously by their thefts, and were again committing depredations, our Lord appeared to her as if suffering much pain in one of His arms, which was so drawn back that the nerves were seriously injured.

And He said to her:

“Consider what torment he would cause Me who should strike Me with his closed hand on this suffering arm; and reflect that I am outraged in like manner by all those who, without compassionating the danger to which the souls who persecute you are exposed, do nothing else but talk maliciously of their sins and what they have suffered in consequence, without reflecting that these unhappy people are members of My Body; while all those who, touched by compassion, implore My mercy for them, that I may convert them, act towards Me as if they soothed the pain of My arm with healing ointments; and I consider those who, by their counsels and charitable warnings, try to induce them to amend their lives, as wise physicians, who endeavour to restore My arm to its proper position.”

Then Gertrude, admiring the ineffable goodness of God, said to Him: “But how, Lord, can these unworthy persons be compared to Your arm?”

He replied:

“Because they are members of the body of the Church, of which I glory in being the Head.”

“But, my God,” —exclaimed Gertrude— “they are cut off from the Church by excommunication, since they have been publicly anathematised for the violence they have done to this monastery.”

“Nevertheless,” —replied the Lord— “as they can be restored to the bosom of the Church by absolution, My natural goodness obliges Me to care for them, and I desire with incredible ardour that they should be converted and do penance.”

The Saint then prayed that the monastery might be defended from their snares by His paternal protection, and she received this reply:

“If you humble yourselves under My mighty Hand, and acknowledge before Me in the secret of your hearts that your sins have merited this chastisement, My paternal mercy will protect you from all the efforts of your enemies; but if you rise up proudly against those who persecute you, wishing them evil for evil, then by My just judgment, I will permit them to become stronger than you, and to afflict you still more.”


(1) As we said in The Sin of Denial and Its Consequences:

Every believer has recourse to God through prayer and acts of reparation. Did He not say: [Mt 5:44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ?

When an individual chooses the State of Denial instead of cooperating with God in the solution of a serious moral/ political/ spiritual problem, then such individual is denying God in the Person of Jesus. Then, the consequences are: But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. [Mt 10:33]

(2) Love is the only answer to bring any sinner back to the House of the Father, a mechanism we have clearly and unequivocally shown, through the Grace of God.

(3) Text of this introduction: partially extracted from the back cover of the book "The life and revelations of St. Gertrude" (see note below).

(4) "The life and revelations of St. Gertrude. Virgin and Abbess of the Order of St. Benedict. A powerful work from the Middle Ages on Union with Christ." Published by Christian Classics, Inc. Fifth printing, 1990 ISBN 0-87061-079-1. pp. 257-258

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Published on October 7, 2022 - Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

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