Luke 6:27

But I say unto you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you,
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Love is commanded when it is said, “Love your enemies,” so that the saying which was uttered already before the church may be fulfilled: “Set in order love in me.” For love is set in order when the precepts of love are formed. See how it began from the heights and cast the law undeneath the backs of the gospel’s blessing. The law commands the revenge of punishment. The gospel bestows love for hostility, benevolence for hatred, prayer for curses, help for the persecuted, patience for the hungry and grace of reward. How much more perfect the athlete who does not feel injury! Exposition of the Gospel of Luke

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
What Christ said in word, he proved also by example. Indeed, when he was on the cross, he said in reference to his persecutors who were slandering him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” so that he might pray for his slanderers, although he could have forgiven them himself. .
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Having proceeded in the enumeration of many heavenly actions, He not unwisely comes to this place last, that He might teach the people confirmed by the divine miracles to march onward in the footsteps of virtue beyond the path of the law. Lastly, among the three greatest, (hope, faith, and charity,) the greatest is charity, which is commanded in these words, Love your enemies.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Temporal goods are to be despised in favor of eternal ones, as things on the left are to be despised in favor of those on the right. This has always been the aim of the holy martyrs. A final just vengeance is looked for, that is, the last supreme judgment, only when no chance of correction remains. But now we must be on our guard, more than anything else, not to lose patience in our eagerness to be justified, for patience is to be more highly prized than anything an enemy can take from us against our will.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
We are also prohibited both from loving that world and, if we understand rightly, are commanded to love it. We are prohibited, of course, where it is said to us, “Do not love the world.” But we are commanded when it is said to us, “Love your enemies.” They are the world, which hates us. Therefore we are both prohibited from loving in it what the world itself loves, and we are commanded to love in it what the world hates, namely, the handiwork of God and the various comforts of his goodness. We are prohibited from loving the fault in it and are commanded to love its nature. The world loves the fault in itself and hates its nature. So we rightly love and hate it, although it perversely loves and hates itself.

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
He says not, To him that seeks give all things, but give what you justly and honestly can, that is, what as far as man can know or believe, neither hurts you, nor another: and if you have justly refused any one, the justice must be declared to him, (so as not to send him away empty) sometimes you will confer even a greater boon when you have corrected him who seeks what he ought not. He says this of garments, houses, farms, beasts of burdens, and generally of all property. But a Christian ought not to possess a slave as he does a horse or money. If a slave is more honorably governed by you than by him who desires to take him from you, I know not whether any one would dare to say, that he ought to be despised, as a garment.

Basil the Great

AD 379
“Lend to those from whom you do not hope to receive in return.” “And what sort of a loan is this,” he says, “to which there is no hope of a return attached?” Consider the force of the statement, and you will admire the kindness of the Lawmaker. When you have the intention of providing for a poor person for the Lord’s sake, it is at the same time both a gift and a loan. It is a gift because of the expectation of no repayment, but a loan because of the great gift of the Master who pays in his place and who, receiving trifling things through a poor person, will give great things in return for them.

Basil the Great

AD 379
It is indeed the part of an enemy to injure and be treacherous. Every one then who does harm in any way to any one is called his enemy. But because man consists of body and soul, to the soul indeed we shall do this good, by reproving and admonishing such men, and leading them by the hand to conversion; but to the body, by profiting them in the necessaries of life. But we almost all of us offend against this command, and especially in the powerful and rulers, not only if they have suffered insult, but if respect is not paid them, accounting all those their enemies who treat them with less consideration than they think they deserve. But it is a great dishonor in a prince to be ready to take revenge. For how shall he teach another, to return to no man evil for evil, if he is eager to retaliate on him who ho injures him.


AD 735
But the question is fairly raised, how it is that in the prophets are to be found many curses against their enemies. Upon which we must observe, that the prophets in the imprecations they uttered foretold the future, and that not with the feelings of one who wishes, but in the spirit of one who foresees.
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
"And He says: "If any one strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one take away thy coat, hinder him not from taking thy cloak also."
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Clement Of Rome

AD 99
"There is no thank unto you, if ye love them that love you; but there is thank unto you, if ye love your enemies and them that hate you; "
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies. Christ, after solemnly warning those who live for pleasure alone, now addresses His own disciples. "I have denounced woe against the wicked, but to you who hear my words, and seek the salvation of your souls, I give as a first and chief commandment that you should love your enemies." See S. Matthew 5:44.
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Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
How will you love your enemies and pray for your adversaries and persecutors? We see what happened in the case of Stephen. When he was being killed by the violence and stones of the Jews, he did not ask for vengeance but forgiveness for his murderers, saying: “O Lord, do not lay this sin against them.” So it was most fitting that the first martyr for Christ who, in preceding by his glorious death the martyrs that were to come, was not only a preacher of the Lord’s suffering but also an imitator of his most patient gentleness.
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
But this way of life was well adapted to the holy teachers who were about to preach throughout the earth the word of salvation, and if it had been their will to take vengeance upon their persecutors, had failed to call them to the knowledge of salvation. Now the old law commanded us not to injure one another; or if we are first injured, not to extend our wrath beyond the measure of the injurer, but the fulfilling of the law is in Christ and in His commands. Hence it follows, And to him that smite you on the one cheek, offer also the other. But the Lord would moreover have us to be despisers of property. As it follows, And him that takes away your cloak, forbid not to take your coat also. For this is the soul's virtue, which is altogether alien from feeling the pleasure of wealth. For it becomes him who is merciful even to forget his misfortunes, that we may confer the same benefits upon our persecutors, whereby we assist our dear friends.

Ephrem The Syrian

AD 373
“An eye for an eye” is the perfection of justice. “Whoever strikes you on the cheek, turn the other to him” is the consummation of grace. While both continually have their criteria, he proposed them to us through the two successive Testaments. The first Testament had the killing of animals for compensation, because justice did not permit that one should die in place of another. The second Testament was established through the blood of a man, who through his grace gave himself on behalf of all. One therefore was the beginning, and the other the completion. He in whom are both the end and the beginning is perfect. In the case of those who do not understand, the beginning and end are estranged one from the other. In the study of them, however, they are one. Therefore this principle of a blow for a blow has indeed been transformed. If you strive for perfection, whoever strikes you, turn to him the other [cheek]. Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaronb–.

Isaac of Syria

AD 700
When a man overcomes justice by mercy, he is crowned, though not with crowns awarded under the law to the righteous, but with the crowns of the mature who are under the gospel. The ancient law also dictates that a man must give to the poor from his own means, and clothe the naked, and love his neighbor as himself. It forbids injustice and lying. But the perfection of the gospel’s dispensation commands the following: “Give to every man that asks of you, and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.” And further, a man must not merely with joy suffer injustice as regards his possessions and the rest of the external things that come upon him, but he must also lay down his life for his brother. This is the merciful man.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But He says not, Do not hate, but love; nor did He merely command to love, but also to do good, as it follows, Do good to them which hate you. For they who pierce their own souls deserve tears and weeping, not curses. For nothing is more hateful than a cursing heart, or more foul than a tongue which utters curses. O man, spit not forth the poison of asps, nor be turned intoa beast. Your mouth was given you not to bite with, but to heal the wounds of others. But he commands us to count our enemies in the ram: of our friends, not only in a general way, butas our particular friends for whom we are accustomed to pray; as it follows, Pray for them which persecute you. But many on the contrary falling down, and striking their faces upon the ground, and stretching forth their hands, pray God not for their sins, but against their enemies, which is nothing else but piercing their own selves. When you pray to Him that He would hear you cursing your enemies, who has forbidden you to pray against ...
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
To love friends is the custom for all people, but to love enemies is customary only for Christians.
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
He bids us, therefore, show a kindly disposition to such a man. "Love your enemies "says He, "pray for them that curse you". "But I say unto you which hear "(displaying here that old injunction, of the Creator: "Speak to the ears of those who lend them to you"
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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