Friday, October 26, 2012

If "the World cannot hate you...." you are in trouble!

Meditation today--Luke 7:7

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil."

Scorn, ridicule, hatred. I am not comfortable with those parts of the Catholic journey. If it were up to me, everyone in my life would join hand and sing Kumbaya. (Can't we all be friends, is the seventh grade plea of my heart!)

"The world cannot hate you."

When I am consumed by the world--when I'm frivolous, overly intellectual, or inattentive to my vocation--the world cannot hate me.

I confess, it still feels good to be "not hated." I like the fake safety of having lots of false friends' cellphone numbers in my address book. (What was that Wicked Song about "Popular"--I want to be Popular?")

Yet Jesus isn't content to let be bask in the false security of "Everybody knows her name" (and my coda "and thinks she's a nice girl, too!) He wants me to become HIS friend, first. His friendship starts to dramatically turn my life inside "right." My new self "testifies to the world that its works are evil."

Often times, I don't even have to say a thing. Showing up with five little kids in a grocery store line is a testimony, but so is a pure smile to my husband after church, a brown scapular messily sticking out of my sweater, or walking my dog kindly around the block on his leash, rather than sticking him in a fenced in yard all day. Those silent, hidden actions of a Catholic heart are enough to inspire spitting hatred in my non-Christian block.

Contrary to my programing, scorn from my community is not a sign I'm doing things wrong, its a sign I'm doing things right!

My Dear Jesus, lend me your courage today!


  1. I don't get how smiling at your husband or walking your dog are specifically actions of a Catholic heart? I am a cathholic and walk my dog and smile at my husband, but so do all the people who I know who are dog owners or wives, whatever their religious beliefs are. If that makes people spit at you, I think you should call the police. If people in your area spit at dog walkers or people who smile, you speaking out would be an act of christian charity to spare other people the same treatment.

  2. I think one thing you're talking about here is the "Little Way" and dedicating small joys and sacrifices to Jesus. This is a great and powerful thing! But like the other commenter, I am confused at the smiling at your husband and walking your dog making people on your block hate you? If it is a metaphor, it is a confused and unclear one. If it is literal and people "hate" you for smiling at your husband, you must live in a very bizarre place full of unnaturally unbalanced people! Likewise, if people "hate" you for walking your dog, it makes me wonder if you are uncourteous when you do so, for this also is a very strange thing.

    I think when we work toward dedicating are life to God, we must be careful not to over-inflate our own importance. It seems absurb that everyone on a given block would "hate" you for walking your dog. Most people in this age concern themselves very little with the needs and doing of others (sadly!), are you so important that everyone on your block is paying attention and spending precious energy "hating" you for walking a dog?

  3. What I believe Abby is saying is simply, when your heart is pure and your light is shining, you will be met with scorn just for standing there. The little acts we do each day with Christ will bring scorn as the 8th Beatitude states:"Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake"

    When someone's neighbor is hateful, their hate isn't ordered—they may state what the cause is, but the truth is; hate comes from the enemy: He enkindles envy, pride, and the other deadly sins in us when we are weakened from sin. So don't get caught up in why someone hates you, rather, rejoice you are making the enemy mad!

    In summary: if you are not being scorned, you might want to step it up a bit. Like St James said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faithg produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be maturei and complete, not lacking anything.

  4. I love my husband!

    I don't know why this post is confusing. I'm a missionary. I live on a block in a very poor town in West Virginia. People on my block are incredibly stressed. They put their dogs outside behind chain mail fences for 10 to 15 hours a day. I walk my dog on a leash and pick up his poop.

    When I walk my dog on a leash, it hurts them. They want to think that their "great dog owners" and I'm doing something different--I'm meeting a higher standard.

    I'm the only one on my side of the block still in a first marriage. The neighbors across the street have been living together without marriage for 16 years. When I kiss my husband on the sidewalk after Mass, it hurts them.

    If you haven't felt the hatred of the world yet-Jesus (not me) says you haven't been living out the full force of your vocation.