Short remedies against rebellion, disobedience, envy, and hatred

December 8, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 388
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Rebellion and Disobedience argue: Why should you be subject to those who are your inferiors? It is your place to command and theirs to obey, for they are inferior to you in wisdom and virtue. It suffices to obey the laws of God; you have no need to be bound by the commands of man.

Submission and Obedience answer: The law of God obliges you to submit to the authority of man. For has not God said: “He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me”? [St. Luke x. 16.] Nor can you urge that this injunction is only to be observed when he who commands is wise and virtuous, for the Apostle says: “There is no power but from God; and those that are, are ordained of God.” [Rom. xiii. 1.] Therefore, your duty is not to criticise those in authority, but to obey them.

Envy whispers: In what are you inferior to such men whom others extol? Why should you not enjoy the same and even greater consideration, for you excel them in many things? It is unjust that they should be ranked as your equals; with much less reason should they be placed above you.

Brotherly Love answers: If your virtue exceeds that of others it is safer in obscurity, for the greater the elevation to which a man is raised, the greater is the danger of his fall. If the possessions of others equal or exceed yours, in what does it prejudice you? Remember that by envying others you only liken yourself to him of whom it is written: “By the envy of the devil death came into the world; and they follow him that are of his side.” [Wisdom ii. 24, 25.]

Hatred says: God cannot oblige you to love one who contradicts and opposes you, who continually speaks ill of you, ridicules you, reproaches you with your past failings, and thwarts you in everything, for he would not thus persecute you if he did not hate you.

True Charity answers: We must not, because of these deplorable faults, cease to love the image of God in our fellow-creatures. Did not Jesus Christ love His enemies who nailed Him to the Cross? And did not this Divine Master before leaving the world exhort us to imitate His example? Drive, then, from your heart the bitterness of hatred and yield to the sweetness of fraternal charity. Independently of your eternal interests, which impose this duty upon you, there is nothing sweeter than love, and nothing more bitter than hatred, which preys like a cancer on the heart of its victim, where it was first engendered.

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