THAT’S what we have to be prepared for. If we are to follow Christ seriously, if we are to be consistent in our pursuit for holiness, then let’s be prepared to be at the receiving end of all forms of evil in this world.
Christ himself practically said it. When he articulated the beatitudes, we are given the idea that to be blessed, we should be ready to be poor in spirit, to mourn, to be insulted, persecuted and accused of all kinds of evil falsehoods, etc. (cfr. Mt 5, 3-11)
In spite of these evils, we should not waver in living charity with those who may offend us. Christ explicitly said that we have to love our enemies, to do good to them that hate us and pray for those who persecute and calumniate us. This is how we are going to be identified as children of God who makes his sun to rise upon the good and bad, the rain on the just and the unjust.
We then have to learn how to hold our horses, avoiding those reflex reactions that are only driven by raw instincts and that fail to capture a more global, faith-enlightened significance of any event. Even more, we have to avoid falling into hatred. And we have to be careful with our anger, because even if it can be regarded as righteous, our anger usually deteriorates into hatred.
While Christ assured us that a great reward awaits us in heaven if we live the beatitudes, there are actually many other practical advantages we can enjoy if we get to be at the receiving end of all worldly evils.
For one, we can think and react better if we remain calm and stick to the ways of patience and charity. To be misunderstood, insulted, persecuted, etc., is a given in this life. We should not make a big fuss about it anymore.
Our focus should just be how to proclaim the truth in charity, and vice-versa, how to live charity in the truth. And this would require a lot of calm thinking. It’s not that we should be stoic, killing off our feelings, emotions and passions. But these latter elements should function at the instance of right thinking that in its turn should be enlightened by our faith and warmed by charity.
There should be no bitterness in our thoughts, judgments and reactions. This is not easy to do, of course. But we can always try, and ask for God’s grace to help us in this department.
Besides, when we manage to stay calm and charitable, we create a better atmosphere that would be more conducive to have a more constructive dialogue and relationship among ourselves amid our differences and conflicts. Charity always conquers evil. The forcefulness of goodness always prevails over the vehemence of evil.
Of course, to be at the receiving end always is no joke. It definitely will be painful physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. But if united with the suffering of Christ, that condition will be meaningful and even gratifying.
It would strengthen our spiritual life which is what really matters in this life. Our perspective and outlook in life broadens and deepens. We would well be on the road to that “mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” that St. Paul talked about. (Eph 4, 13)
Again, we have to learn to hold our horses. We should just allow ourselves to be misunderstood and mistreated. If we have the chance, we can always clarify things, but always in the ways of charity in the truth.
The desire for revenge and to get even should be shunned!/PN