Sunday, March 10, 2013

good and evil

The two-and-a-half-year-old younger lass has a way with words:
"My eyes are choc'late." (referring to their luscious dark color)
"Bad boy!" (directed at her sister)

Every time the latter zinger is hurled, one of us always responds (even if it's not quite the "teachable moment" yet), "she's not a boy, and she's not bad."  Under normal circumstances, the younger lass *does* know that her sister is a girl like herself, but in moments of upset, that crusher is her biggest gun.  She picked it up from a sibling who shall remain nameless known for using it as a sort of heat-seeking missile against his brother.  In such cases, a similar response is given about the lad not being bad (laying aside the gender confusion). 

I'm not sure how this epithet came into being, since neither my beloved nor I employ it ourselves in the course of correcting inappropriate behavior on the part of our bambini.  Nonetheless, these fighting words persist and still sting, even though we are quick to say "God made [your brother] good.  He's not bad," and go on to talk about how we all make mistakes in the form of bad choices now and again, but that we are essentially good people -- even the sibling that has just pressed another's hot button.

As adults, we probably don't go around calling other adults names like "bad boy!", but we'd probably be fibbing if we didn't acknowledge at least once thinking to ourselves something along those lines (or worse).  We might even go so far as to think of a particular person as "evil," especially when considering the track record of a person who clearly has little respect for others to the point of destroying them literally or figuratively. 

It is contrary to our Catholic faith to think of people as evil.  God made us good.  He gave us free will, and sometimes we make bad choices from which evil has its way.  We can be under the influence of evil, and we struggle mightily against the effects of original sin, but we can also choose to do good (however difficult this may be) and have recourse to the grace we receive at Baptism and through the sacraments to live uprightly. 

Halfway through this Lenten season, we are far enough on the journey to Easter to have gained a little perspective since Ash Wednesday when some of our Lenten practices began in earnest.  God willing, we have come to recognize some ways in which evil has insinuated itself between us and the God who loves us.  With this reminder of pure, perfect love to encourage us, we dare to believe in our inherent good.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails