I know that I am. Being full of hatred, depending on your assumptions, means different things to different readers (or writers). Here are some reflections on hatred and some contexts in which they might be good or evil. Once, when I was thinking about having in me the mind of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5), I had thoughts of hatred come into my mind. My first instinct was to get rid of these thoughts of hatred, because, as we are taught from our youth, hatred is bad but love is good. That is still true, but I went deeper into my reflections with Christ. Here are some of the statements I hold true.
MY HATRED THOUGHTS
WHAT IS HATRED
Here is Merriam-Webster’s definition of hatred uncut, for your reflection.
“1: a: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
c: a systematic and especially politically exploited expression of hatred
a crime motivated by bigotry and hate—often used before another noun hate mail an organization tracking hate groups— see also HATE CRIME
2: an object of hatred
a generation whose finest hate had been big business— F. L. Paxson
Definition of hate (Entry 2 of 2)
1: to feel extreme enmity toward : to regard with active hostility hates his country’s enemies
2: to have a strong aversion to : find very distasteful hated to have to meet strangers hate hypocrisy
to express or feel extreme enmity or active hostility
harsh faces and hating eyes— Katherine A. Porter
hate one’s guts.
2302 By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,” 94 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.
Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.” 95 If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” 96
2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” 97
2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquillity of order.” 98 Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity. 99
Hatred is an attitude of mind, as I thought about when I meditated on Phil 2:5. It can be a blocker of good but it also can be the motivation to banish evil thoughts, as St. Benedict says in Chapter 4 of the Rule: “Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge. Rid our heart of all deceit.”
Do you notice that Hatred does not exist by itself? The Catechism of the Church Universal says that we must not be held hostage by hatred or anger, both of which usually hold hand with each other. Hatred is either rooted in something good or something evil. Christ showed anger at what people did, as in the Temple with the money changers. (Matthew 21:12) How about an agitated Jesus excoriating the Pharisees in Matthew 23: 13? Jesus, you will note, hated evil and fought against the ATTITUDE of hypocrisy. He was disgusted with Pharisees in telling people one thing but doing quite another. A modern parallel is the clergy scandals of the Catholic Church. Not everyone is involved but it is something Jesus would have certainly put in Matthew 23:17 if he was sitting before you. I hate the clergy scandals that leave innocent victims in their wake. I hate the fact that some have chosen to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus did not hate the person but the sin committed by the person as an attempt to find love.
Love demands work to prepare to receive the Lord into your heart. Is your house clean, if you expect God to come into your home and break bread with you? Sin is the dust of choosing the wrong way to love. Jesus is the broom. I am the sweeper.
If I have evil hatred in my heart, there is no room for peace and the love of Christ to enter. No one can have two masters, says Christ.