A reflection on St. Benedict’s teaching to “bless those who curse you” (Rule 4.32) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB
God looks upon us with loving kindness. He wants to bless us. Cursing is of the devil – it’s evil. And sometimes Evil uses us to harm each other. The important thing is to look beyond who is doing it and see who is influencing it. Thankfully, God’s blessing is far more powerful than a curse. So we hear from St. Benedict how to take care of curses: bless! Ask God’s goodness to be poured upon the one who curses you. Ask God to love them abundantly to the point where they are no longer able to do evil because they know how dearly loved they are. What a wonderful remedy. What a wonderful way to see things: to break curses with blessings. Whenever you’re having a difficulty with someone, and you can feel your blood pressure rising, just start asking God to bless them. It will be a challenge, but you’ll be on the right path.
St. Benedict challenges us to good to those who maybe don’t do good to us in return. It’s easy to love those who love you, but it’s a real test of your love when you do good to those who are difficult to love. Good. Do it. Give without expectation of receiving. Love without the expectation of being the most loved. When you feel as though you are the least loved, and yet you try to love everybody else as if they are the most loved, that is really hard work. Try it. You’ll go to bed exhausted. If you can do that, you’ve won. Because remember that we’re going to be judged based on what we’ve done to others, and not what they’ve done to us. And also remember those words of Jesus when He said, “Stop judging and you will not be judged” (Luke 6:37), and just don’t judge anybody!