Finding forgiveness for our enemies

Dear Editor, Using a ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ as a war memorial in Glasnevin Cemetery is at first glance appropriate. It links the combatant’s heroism and sacrificial living and dying with Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross.

There is one enormous difference however. Jesus suffered and died loving and praying for his enemies: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Responding to enmity and violence with love and forgiveness was a core aspect of his teaching. In the Sermon on the Mount he said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.” (Matt 5:43-45 NIV)

If like St Thomas the Apostle we acknowledge Jesus as “My Lord and my God” we can never let go of his teaching and practice regardless of how difficult and counter-cultural it may be.

Yours etc,

Fr Morty O’Shea,


Co. Kerry.