28 August

Aug 28, 2018 | Claret With You

“Exaggeration, insults, slander and anonymity are weapons that form the arsenal of weakness and are the ribbons that adorn vileness. The best way to defeat them is to ignore them. Their habits of lying, blasphemy and slander are their breath, their being and their life”
Resolutions of the year 1855, in AEC p. 678


“John the Baptist came: he didn’t eat bread or drink wine, and you said: ‘He has an evil spirit.’ Next came the Son of Man, eating and drinking, and you say: ‘Look, a glutton for food and wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Lk 7.33 -34). The Gospels give us testimony of malicious criticism that Jesus was subjected to. And Jesus himself warns us that if he has been criticized and abused, so much more can his disciples be (cf. Mt 10, 25).
In these situations, the correct action can be a simple and clear explanation of our way of proceeding; always, of course, that the interested party is willing to listen, open to the truth. Other times, as Claret says here, the more sensible thing is to ignore them, to avoid the risk of falling into a dialogue with the deaf and a useless waste of one’s own energy. What must not be done is to pay back with the same coin. We would be failing in the same defect as those who criticize us or slander us. The apostle Paul gives us a simple and clear guidance, valid for many occasions: “Do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness” (Rm 12.21). However, this style of behaviour will not be achieved without something more: our lives must be constantly nourished by all sorts of motivation and positive virtues. What it comes down to at the end of the day is that the good that is in us is stronger than the evil with which they attempt to attack us.
In a world in which insult, irony, mockery or disqualification of another is the order of the day, especially in the media, we are invited to give a testimony of faith that puts strength into this slippery world. What is my reaction to these rarefied environments and hostile situations? Am I fully convinced of the power of good?

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