St. Anthony Zaccaria wrote a beautiful reflection that highlights his thoughts on how to handle those who openly oppose your beliefs.
While fighting our enemies might seem like the logical thing to do, St. Anthony Zaccaria had other thoughts.
The founder of the Barnabites gave the following sermon that is featured in the Church’s Office of Readings. In it, he explains how a follower of Christ should deal with enemies.
We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, rather than abhor and despise them, since they harm themselves and do us good, and adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory while they incite God’s anger against themselves. And even more than this, we should pray for them and not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by goodness.
St. Anthony was a strong proponent of not trying to out-argue an enemy, but to show them love and compassion.
He believed that goodness would triumph over evil.
We should heap good works like red-hot coals of burning love upon their heads, as our Apostle urges us to do, so that when they become aware of our tolerance and gentleness they may undergo a change of heart and be prompted to turn in love to God.
This strategy is something that Jesus himself did while on earth, going out of his way to show love for his enemies, even dying on a cross for them.