Seeing Christ in Evil People


#21

In a work situation you’re sort of tied up with such an “evil” person. You have to do the best you can under the circumstances.

There’s a special concern if that person is affecting your work or job. I walked that tightrope of avoiding mistakes for years. My approach was, if I made a mistake, I went to my boss to report it and fix it.

My enemies were literally all defeated. They just had a work ethic that eventually failed them. They hated me because I was almost always right. Live right.


#22

I didn’t read the entire thing I didn’t know she did u harm but to answer your question no I’m no better than a murderer or a theif in the eyes of god


#23

Well…Moses and David were murderers and they were very blessed by God.

But, I agree we must be humble at all times.


#24

Yes, we see Christ in people.

If they sin, or being uncharitable or simply disgusting, we are to feel compassionate towards them.

The advice in the Gospel to treat them as a last resort like a tax collector is apt. This is often misunderstood as to condemn such people. However, Jesus never condemn us, he would be compassionate to us because we are falling away from him.


#25

What did Scripture say?

It is easy to love the nice people, even pagans do that. Christians are commanded to love our enemies, to do good to those who use us.


#26

I know! rips hair out!

Just kidding, thank you. I think, no I know, I need to pray more. To be honest, I used to pray the rosary daily and go to Mass daily some months ago and I’ve honestly felt like I can’t move to do either anymore. It’s a very strange feeling.

When I was reading the book Story of a Soul I was so nice to this lady who was cruel but someone (a spiritual advisor) told me St Therese was living with this nun who was mean to her and my situation was different and I could set boundaries and be professional but no need to be nice to her.


#27

This is where i struggle however, i don’t understand why she just let the nun be mean to her because it does two things. One it allows the nun to get away with such behavior and two by letting her get away with it she actually does a disservice to this nun by letting her live in error. Perhaps she couldn’t change her behavior however and instead used love to bring tenderness to her heart, i’m not sure


#28

Hi Paddy,
That is absolutely right. She actually eventually did warm the nuns heart when she broke her bread for her.
In all of her trials with the nun, she did it solely for Jesus. She had such a rich internal life!!! More real than the world she could see.
And to your point about doing the nun a disservice, perhaps since her trust in God was so pure she knew He would bring justice. I think in one part of her diary when she admitted to breaking a vase she didn’t break, she spoke of the day when all will be revealed.
However, when it came to the novices she was in charge of she molded their character whether they liked it or not. She knew it was was good for their soul.
Perhaps because the other nun was, I believe, elderly and in frail health she saw it best to serve her in humility no matter how difficult.
In writing this I’ve come to realize the key is building my own interior life with the Lord stronger through much prayer.
Thank you for your response, it helped remind me of our beautiful sister Therese.


#29

Let’s be honest. Sometimes there are some people who are hard to love and it is very difficult to see Christ in them.
Who knows? It could be that your prayer for this person could be the prayer that saves them from Hell. Just because someone is evil today doesn’t mean that they have to remain evil forever. There is the possibility of conversion.
When he was in the concentration camp, St Titus Brandsma used to give as a penance that they pray for the guards who beat them. Many times his penitents would say that this was very difficult. He would reply that tehy didn’t have to do it all day.


#30

One of the things I consistently notice about the saints is that they frequently do more than social custom requires them to. When they go beyond what is required, it is often because they are trying to achieve some nobler end.

In St. Therese’s case, her eye was fixed firmly on heaven and her faith was so strong and so pure that she could rely completely on God’s justice in this situation. She realized that she was not going to be able to correct the actions of this person, so she took a different path. God got the glory in the end because the woman did change.

I think your spiritual advisor did you a bit of a disservice. Even though you don’t have to endure the actions of this coworker, and even though you are justified in setting boundaries and drawing her out of your life to the extent possible, you are not precluded from taking a different approach.


#31

Have you thought about starting an SVP group? If you contact them they’ll send you everything you need to know. Having said that it’s not something to be entered into lightly because it requires admin work etc.

Perhaps there’s a legion of Mary group you could join?

Or perhaps…you could just visit the sick? Do we need to be part of an organisation to do this? Is it necessary to have safeguarding etc where we can only visit in pairs etc? Years ago it was easier I think.


#32

How would it be if I lay in a meadow on a sunny day and praise God for his creation and my happiness, fine.
And if I struggle to repair my roof with tarpaulin in a storm and strain my sinews doing battle with the fearsome wind and while so doing praise my God for this trial and opportunity to test and grow my faith, how would that be? Most excellent.

Love your enemy, who else will give you such free service?


#33

I went to Catholic school for 12 years. There were bullies there. I had to give them wide berth and even drop school activities to avoid them. On the other hand, I was an altar boy for 8 years and that did something to me, made me more conscious of myself and how I acted – gave me self control.

You must not let your guard down at any time. There’s a difference between bottling up your emotions (which could explode at an embarrassing moment) on the one hand, and immediately forgiving another person so that those emotions never develop, on the other hand.

Someone WAS gossiping about me in my family and I was very upset. I didn’t handle this family situation like I handled the gossiping about me at work. At work I guess I just took that abuse as part of the job.

I have found that people who mistreated me eventually got what they deserved. I didn’t have to do anything. (I worry that I will get what I deserve – that’s the Catholic part of me – I know that I will get what I deserve).

There are so many variations of this situation, it’s hard to cover them all. Maybe that gossiper will become your boss. What will you do then? What if you become that person’s boss? (I’d fire that person. That’s retaliation, yes, in part. But people are supposed to function as a team, whether they like other people or not – but people take things too personally. ) I’ve been in so many situations like this, I can’t count. Thank God for his gift of wisdom.


#34

“Time wounds all heels.” Groucho Marx.

I have one particular person, of several, who still owe me money for honest work I carried out for them. This person also has cheated others of money too. This is obviously something that they need to address during their journey here and I must attend to my own faults and forgive them since that is my role in this process too. I also feel some empathy for them because I know that the lesson they learn will come hard for them, harder than the lesson of forgiveness which I had to learn from them.

This is a specific instance but Our Lord gave us several ways to deal with myriads of life’s problems if we wish to employ them.


#35

You cannot see Christ in a truly evil person, because Christ isn’t present in him or her. To attempt to see what isn’t there will drive you mad, so don’t try.

However, I am not sure if this applies to the woman you speak of. If she is simply very annoying, rude, or otherwise unpleasant in her ways, that is not at all the same as her being evil. If you have good intuition, you can probably feel the difference. An irritating, annoying, unpleasant person, will make you feel angry or frustrated. But an evil person will make you feel afraid, not by doing anything in particular, but because you will sense the cold emptiness in their heart. (You mentioned cruelty and sadism – these could be signs of real evil.)

And there is a third possibility: the woman may be “average” in terms of ethical quality, but affected by demons. This isn’t nearly as bad as being totally evil, but someone like this still has a “scary” vibe around them and will make your intuitive alarm-bell go off.

Try to assess which of these three she is: evil, annoying, or affected by demons. (Evil people are fortunately pretty rare. Annoying and demon-infested people are common.)

As said, if she’s evil there’s no point in trying to see Christ in them. If she’s demonized, Christ may be present in her, but appealing to Him will probably trigger her demons. If she’s just annoying, then it’s probably more of a personal thing between you and her, and she may well be just as much a child of God as you are.


#36

Thank you Roguish, I couldn’t say for sure but I definitely think it’s more than annoying. I remember when I used to be nice to her in a genuine way, she didn’t like it. That was a while ago though, I avoid her as much as I can. I hate when she says things like “I thought you should know” in a regal way like she’s doing me a favor, I am horrible at comebacks (my husband jokes I should text him the next time I need one since he’s good at them, appropriate and funny ones, but the timing would be off)
We hardly speak, her and I, but every now and then she’ll tell me something not crucial about work and end it with that line like she has some upper hand or more knowledge about something and she’s telling little old me. She actually walks away with her nose in the air when she says it!!


#37

She sounds like a real gem. A wonderful opportunity for you to inoculate yourself for the future.
There are many ways to look at this. I saw someone recently who was being messed around by an authority and someone asked him if this authority was frustrating him, he said “no, they haven’t the power to frustrate me.”


#38

Lol ever since I stopped talking to her I feel better but cringe when I see her. Sh stares at me when she passes my cubicle while saying hi to everyone else but me.
Thank God that doesn’t bother me too much anymore.
I still need a comeback! lol


#39

I know what you mean, really. But do you really want revenge like that, this is a temptation. If someone wants to be toxic then that’s up to them, personally I want nothing of it. I prefer peace and I am the gatekeeper of my temple so to speak.


#40

Yes thank you for the reminder actually. It is a temptation to withhold a snarky comeback. The enemy is subtle and tries to tell me it’ll be beneficial to her soul but I guess I’ll keep pretending to her that she doesn’t bother me and keep praying for her.


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