“I hate…” has become perhaps one of the most common utterances used by men and women in today’s society. It has become especially en vogue, recently, to apply these sentiments toward people who do not share our belief systems (political, social, religious, etc.). This is a great failing on our part as a society, that we have allowed “hate” to flourish in the garden of our hearts. Now, I understand that most people say “I hate” and they really mean “I really, really, don’t like” but giving voice to hate gives it life. We as good men and good Catholics must banish hate, not only from our hearts but from our vocabulary.
Now I can already hear it coming “But I don’t hate people, I hate the ideas, ideals, or choices that people make.” Well, stop it. Instead of feeling hatred at ideas, actions, or people, try feeling pity or empathy. I believe all the anger and hatred in our nation could easily be diffused if we took the time to see why others don’t agree with us (this in no way means we must change or soften our beliefs). I do not hate pro/anti-abortion, pro/anti-gay marriage, pro/anti-feminist, pro/anti-immigration, etc, etc., but rather I feel immense pity for those who do not share in the Truth shared by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am also not saying we need to apologize for having the beliefs that we do.
The real crux of this article is this: God is Love. God defeats The Enemy with Love. Hate is the weapon of Satan, not against your enemies, but against you. It was not hatred that caused the Sacrifice of Calvary, but Love. When we give in to hate, we give in to Satan. If God is Love (and He is), and we are made in his Divine Image, should we allow ourselves to hate? No, we shouldn’t. I dislike many things, even some people are hard to deal with, but I don’t hate any of them. We should pray for our enemies, pray for our families, pray for our own salvation, but prayer alone will change nothing if we do not actively seek to love and understand one another. Hatred is the antithesis of Love. You can never truly love anything if you hold hate in your heart, it blinds you to reason, 1 John 2:11 “But he that hates his brother, is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” Hatred is like a heavy chain in your hands dragging you down to the bottom of a dark pool, all you have to do is let it go and you can breathe easy once more. If you feel that you are unable to give up your hate, ask God to help free you from the self-imposed darkness you’re living in and to free those who hate you as well. God Bless and keep you.
Written by: Zachary Swinehart