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Hatred – The Most Blinding Force of All

August 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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Hatred – The Most Blinding Force of All

The Lord (Week 10 of 23)

To see another human being as he really is means to lay ourselves open to his influence. Thus when fear or dislike moves us to avoid him, this reaction is already evident in our gaze; the eye characterizes him, stifling the good, heightening the bad. We discern his intentions, make swift comparisons, and leap to conclusions. All this proceeds involuntarily, if not unconsciously (in which case our powers of distortion, uncurbed by reason, so their worst). Seeing is a protective service to the will to live. The deeper our fear or distaste of a person, the more tightly we close our eyes to him, until finally, we are incapable of perception, or the profound German word for it, Wahrnehmen: reception of truth. Then we have become blind to that particular person. This mysterious process lies behind every enmity. Discussion, preaching, explanations are utterly useless. The eye simply ceases to register what is plain to be seen. Before there can be any change, a fundamental shift must take place in the general attitude. The mind must turn to justice, the heart expand; then only can the eye really begin to discern. Little by little the sheen of the object on which it rests strengthens its visual power, and slowly it recovers the health of truth. — The Lord (Part III: Chapter 1, Paragraph 13)

This is not a post about politics. Although, as you can see from the above paragraph, the content fits right in with the turbulent weeks we’ve seen in the world of race relations, the months of mudslinging and hatred spewed over the current president of the United States, or the vicious diatribe surrounding immigration, abortion, transgenderism, and more.

Hate is a blinding emotion. And it never leads to justice. Or truth. For in the ensuing pursuit of said goods, the force, which presses continuously onward, gaining passion, momentum, speed, power and brutality, is driven by things like revenge, self-righteousness, anger – none of which can result in an equitable resolution of the issue at hand. They seek instead to destroy the individuals who push back from the other side.

The result is war.

Whether that war is one of emotions, ideas, words, fists, weapons or power, passions fueled by hatred can bring nothing but destruction.

Whether we're talking about a country at odds about monumental – yes, monumental – issues, or a married couple that has slipped into the abyss of resentment and negativity, hatred is deadly.

The antidote? The answer can be found in Sacred Scripture.

LOVE.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. — Proverbs 10:18

The only hatred that is permissible is the hatred of evil:

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. — Psalm 119:163.

Love is always the preferred perspective. Love is always the preferred source of action. For Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:7).

In this time where hearts are hardening, where lines are being drawn, we must remember that only Love changes hearts.  No matter the issue, our goal is never subjugation, but rather, conversion. A sincere conversion to the good. To the truth. To Love. To Christ.

Whether in our homes or in our streets, love will never be achieved through hatred. Justice will never be achieved through fear or dislike. And for those of you who believe that present day problems have moved beyond the scope of biblical niceties and polite decorum, Martin Luther King, Jr. – one of the most quoted men in the twentieth century – had some words to say that harken back to Biblical wisdom. We should keep them in mind, whether we approach our spouse, our neighbor, our community or the world at large:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
— Strength To Love, 1963

Reading Assignment:

Part 4: Ch. II-V

Discussion Questions:

1. Please offer any prayerful comments regarding the state of relations in the world – whether within our own families, communities or the world at large.

2. Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

 

Read More: http://spiritualdirection.com/topics/book-club

For More Information on the Book Club:  http://spiritualdirection.com/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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  • Carlos

    Thank you for the well intentioned article. Love is definitely the cure of all illnesses of our humanity. I agree. But I would add that God’s Love calls the soul to His…Perfect Love. Ours is the vehicle. Our love is simply obedience…Maybe too simple to understand. The meaning of that simple obedience to our Loved One and Only One (Jesus Christ) has been confused with a sentiment that seems to be in contrast with hatred or other natural human emotions. We see people seemingly suppressing hatred and conveying apathy instead, not a healthy response either…I believe that we were created with all our emotions for a reason. There is a reason to love and to hate. In obedience we can learn that reason. We will hate all that is false in the world. We hate (or should hate) the devil and we hate the sin in our own flesh (concupiscence)…If we obey God we will truly love God and hate all that is not God. There is nothing wrong with this kind of holy hatred, because it is rooted in obedience to God’s Love. I hate sin. I hate the father of all sin…I choose God…Tell me please your response…In Jesus’ Holy Name.

    • Vicki

      Carlos,
      Thank you for your comments – they provide much insight into the subject. Absolutely, we must hate all that is not of God. You may have noticed the quote I shared from Psalms that demonstrates that hatred of sin is the one form of hatred that is permissible; you expanded on that point very well – thank you so much! God bless you!

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  • YoikesAndAway

    As a liberal, I have over the past six years or so have taken the time, much time, to get to know and understand conservatives in this country. While there is still much a do not agree with, I do understand their perspectives and find myself agreeing on a few of them. It has opened my eyes enough to see some blatant hypocrisy, tit-for-tat attitudes of liberals, and the profound hatred that they themselves generate in ignorance. The liberals have no idea how much they mimic the same attitudes I found on conservative websites when Obama was in office.

    While this article is good, I would love to see a discussion on actual responses in which love is used to fight hate without becoming hate itself. We are told to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors, but I often wonder how that actually manifests when one interacts with them daily or often enough. How does love conquer hate, is it something that take so long or gradually that one might not see it working? I understand that loving all is a state of being, but when the hate and vitriol is targeting you personally, how does one maintain that love rather than getting sucked into the hate.

    • MaryB435

      i think that’s a great thing to be thinking about on this day, the feast day of St. Teresa of Calcutta. When she would care for people, doing tasks that actually, no one would ever WANT to do, she said what made it possible was that she would see the face of Christ in everyone she touched. That’s not exactly the same thing, getting over the feeling of doing a distasteful TASK, and getting over any hatred, but I think the remedy is the same; it’s to see the face of Christ in the other person. It’s someone created and loved by God. If we pray for the other person, it really helps.
      Also, something else Mother Teresa always said was that she would pay attention to ONE at a time. If we see people as people, and not just as members of that other group, it can’t help but be more personal.

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