“Do not be overcome by evil”

… “but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

If I were asked, I suppose I would say,
“Continue to do good.
Teach kindness to children,
in hope that we might learn it from them.
Tell them to be unafraid,
that we will stay close by,
that there is more to love in this life than to fear.
Teach them to pray for our enemies,
as a bulwark against bitterness.
If only to hear ourselves say it aloud,
remind them to praise God in all things;
God who made hearts to be broken,
and hearts to soar before the dawn,
when in the turning they see for a moment
the face of the beloved once more.”

Written on a morning when the radio tube.JPGdescribes terror, a body in the street, a child’s stroller, run over. On a morning when the Daily Office advises, nonetheless,

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21

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