“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).
Ignatius of Antioch: “Pray without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of repentance that they may attain to God. For “cannot he who falls rise again, and he who goes astray return (Jer. 8:4)?” Permit them to be instructed by you. Be the ministers of God, and the mouth of Christ. For thus says the Lord, “If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth (Jer. 15:19).” Be humble in response to their wrath; oppose their sacrilege with your earnest prayers; while they go astray, be steadfast in the faith (Col 1:23). Conquer their harsh temper by gentleness and their passion by meekness, for “blessed are the meek (Matt. 5:5).” Moses was meek above all men (Num. 12:3), and David was exceedingly meek (Psalm. 131).
“Paul exhorts as follows: “The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle towards all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those who oppose (2 Tim. 2:24, 25).” Do not seek to avenge yourselves on those who injure you (Rom. 12:19)…” Let us make them brethren by our kindness… let us imitate the Lord, Who “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten (1 Pet. 2:23).” Jesus prayed for His enemies, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).” If any one, the more he is injured, the more he displays patience, he is blessed. If any one is defrauded, if any one is despised, for the name of the Lord, he is truly the servant of Christ. Take heed that no plant of the devil be found among you, for such a plant is bitter. Watch therefore, be sober in Christ Jesus. (Ignatius of Antioch to the Christians in Ephesus, approx. 107-108 A.D., Ch. 10; expanded version of earliest text)
✝ St. Ignatius of Antioch, Pray for Us ✝