Changing the only person we have the power to change

Sr. Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

Wow! I’ve been thinking about this since last week’s gospel. It’s hard to do … even as a Catholic Sister!

We all have people in our lives we’d rather not have to deal with. Maybe they have been harsh with us, maybe they have been cold. Maybe we’ve been unkind to them in return.

And when you live with 40 other women, believe me, that can happen!

As Christians, we are called to heed Jesus’ words. They aren’t a suggestion!

Jesus says, “pray for them.” Benedict says, “receive them as Christ.” But how can we do so for who don’t like us, are unkind to us, or have betrayed our trust?

Not by praying that they become “better” people, or that they learn where we’re coming from. Not by praying that they change.

Instead, we must pray for them in love, as their own mothers and fathers would, as the Spirit would and does.

If we can just visualize them in God’s loving arms, we can change the only person it’s in our power to change: ourself.

2 thoughts on “Changing the only person we have the power to change

  1. Thank you Sr. Stefanie.
    This blog post speaks right to and from my heart … it is true and always has been true (even when I only just truely realised it): the only person you can change is yourself.
    It seems mundane, but really the key is always within ourselves. Once we hand over our worries and troubles to Him and look at ourselves to change our attitudes (and with this I mean my attitude), peace of mind is just … there.


  2. Hi Verena, I think that is most definitely true! We need to hand it over to God. Through God’s Grace and guidance we can let go and change ourselves … as well as how we choose to treat all people. Through God’s Grace we can learn to do what Benedict tells us: to treat all as Christ (and know peace). Thanks for writing! Blessings, Sr. Stefanie


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