It seems to be the dominant theme in our world today, and I hate hate.
I see so much, unfortunately, that the world seems to simply accept, or even to possibly encourage it. I don’t believe I have ever felt that strongly about anyone enough that I could say I hated him or her, but I have had others tell me they have hated.
Examples may include:
*A former student of mine has recently visited what remains of Auschwitz. The residue of hate.
*I have seen images of those fleeing Syria. The scarred survivors of hate.
*Our own country has created unfair and unjust laws against people of different color, race, or gender. Not sure if this is hate or fear, but one tends to lead to another.
*I am confused by the recent shooting in Orlando. How could anyone have so much hate?
*War is hate. I hate that sometimes war may be necessary.
*There is self hate and doubt (often capitalized upon by advertising), which all may affect those suffering from depression, thoughts of suicide, and/or eating disorders.
*People hate being taken advantage of, but taking advantage of others seems convenient when it leads to profit or to power. I am not sure if I should hate capitalism or not, but I do have a healthy fear of it.
*The media capitalizes on hate. I am not saying that the news should not be true, but hate sure seems to sell.
*Terrorists and enemies hate us and we hate them. What does it all solve?
I could go on and on.
But, as I was starting to become too negative and struggling with how not to hate, I asked for advice in the confessional.
One of the priests at St. Peter’s cathedral offered me a possible solution; I needed some quiet time with God. It may seem ridiculous (especially for a busy person like myself), but all of my frustration and anger with life seemed to be leading towards hate, so I wanted to at least give the idea a try.
The priest was right. I could not hate while sitting in the holy presence of the eucharist. I could not even bring myself to be angry. I have returned many times back to this quiet and sacred chapel. I have even brought my daughter. She seemed confused at first, but we both left calmer and more ready for another busy day.
I hope to some day make eucharistic adoration more a regular part of my life. For now, it will be sporadic, and I know that I can always pray at home (or in my own head at work or wherever). It is not yet enough.
But, cannot learning to love and trying to be humble at least help? I know that it is too late for the scant few survivors of Syria or the Holocaust. I know that love won’t bring back all of those killed by terrorists or war. I do not pretend to understand the angry/hateful commentary made by even those running to be our country’s future leader.
I do not want to be ruled by hate. Jesus did not seem to hate anyone.
I know that Jesus was not particularly fond of vendors making profit in his Father’s house, the church. I know He vanquished demons and was able to avoid the temptation of Satan, but I do not believe that Jesus used the word “hate”.
Instead, he said to his disciples:
“Do to others whatever you would have them to do you…Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 13-14).
Is the road the way to heaven paved with love and the road away paved with hate?
If so, I plan to strive to love, as hard as that may be.