“For, although the unjust are worthy of hatred, it makes no sense for a God-loving soul to be troubled by hatred, because when hatred is present in the soul, knowledge of God is no longer active within it.”
The Evergetinos Volume 1
Hatred is becoming a common feeling and expression in our world. Hatred is not new to the world or to Christians. Many of us hear daily that “I love the sinner, but hate the sin” and usually as you listen further you realize they might hate the sinner as well. St. Diadochos hits home the danger of letting hatred consume us to our core. The desert tradition is rife with stories about people overcoming hatred by learning to focus their hearts and minds on the love found in God. Through knowledge of God we gain a better understanding of what it means to love and how that love informs our life. We soon realize that we have the strength and ability to love over hate, to build over destroy, and to forgive over resent. These are the hallmarks of our spiritual discipline and like any discipline we must be intentional about working toward a life filled with love. Considering all the recent events in the world, let us find one place in our lives where hatred either lives or is starting to awaken and bring the love of God to bear on that place.
A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.