Eye for an Eye…
Regardless of what society may say, we must live up to a higher standard:
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.” -Romans 12:17, NAB
The world is watching every move we make. They are searching for ways to condemn us, and condemn the Church. As representatives of the faith, they will use the things we say and do as reasons to justify their lack of faith. For that reason, if for no other, it is important that we uphold a higher moral standard.
When we are wronged, our sinful nature gravitates toward revenge. We want “justice” done for the wrongs committed against us. And, while there is nothing wrong with justice, paying evil for evil is not justice. When we condemn someone for their evil actions, but return evil to them, we are no better than they are.
Our actions can have both positive and negative effects. If we do something positive that shows the true glory of Christ, the world will notice. If we do something negative, it can wipe away all of the positive things that we have done. In that way, the evil we do, regardless of how small it may have actually been, is magnified.
Not only will you not find satisfaction when you repay evil for evil, but you will actually be damaging the Church. Your actions can paint a negative picture of the Church to the people around you. Society is quick to point out a handful of hypocrites and ignore the large majority of good Catholics. A single evil act can make it difficult to open someone’s heart with a thousand acts of good.
Be cautious with the things you say and do. As the Church, we are under a microscope at all times. Return good when others do evil, and let your actions show the true beauty of our faith. That is what it truly means to be a good Catholic.