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A certain preacher always prays long and with enthusiasm
for thieves and muggers that attack people
on the street. ‘Let your mercy, O Lord, cover their insolence.’
He doesn’t pray for the good, but only for the blatantly cruel.
Why is this? his congregation asks.
‘Because they have done me such generous favours.
Every time I turn back toward the things they want,
I run into them. They beat me, and leave me nearly dead
in the road, and I understand, again, that what they want
Is not what I want. They keep me on the spiritual path.
That’s why I honour them and pray for them.’
Those that make you return, for whatever reason, to God,
be grateful to them. Worry about the others, who give you
delicious comforts that keep you from prayer.
Friends are enemies sometimes, and enemies friends.