• Sarah Raad


“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

Jesus Preaching to the Multitude (Jorge Cocco)

Technology is a very amazing invention. Though I have had many a conversation about the dangers of technology, it is quite obvious that without the invention of the internet, so much of my life would be more difficult and tedious than it is right now…

But the thing about technology is that it often-times works surreptitiously while I am least expecting it… You see, the other day I was talking to my children about a particular topic at 6 o’clock in the morning. At 8 o’clock on that same morning, when I began to use my mobile phone, the search engine on my phone was directing me towards the same topic upon which my children and I had been speaking.

Now, I know that this was no coincidence. You see, search engines are designed to use complicated algorithms to collect information about users of technology and project such interests back at those users to maintain user interest and engagement… For example, if I were to search for coloured socks, or to click on a link about coloured socks on my social media page or internet web browser, I would very soon – probably within moments – be sent advertisements and suggestions about coloured socks everywhere I went online. The more I clicked on those suggestions, the more I would receive, until I became overwhelmed with coloured socks.

And the way that this information that I first search for comes back to me – based on my previous searches – has started me thinking about virtue and vice…

You see, both virtues and vices are habits, and the more we repeat a habit, the more entrenched the behaviour becomes, just as the more we interact with the pop-ups and suggestions offered about coloured socks, the more pop-ups and suggestions we shall receive… This means that if we behave virtuously, we build those good habits and then become better and better able to practice virtues in our lives. However, if we repeat vices and bad habits, all those opportunities for vices will present themselves to us and we shall be less and less able to modify our behaviours for the better, becoming inundated with vices in much the same way as a user is inundated with links about coloured socks.

You see, Christ gives a very blunt and confronting directive in the Gospel of Saint Luke when He tells us, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

And I have been thinking about that powerful line of Sacred Scripture, because in that one directive, Christ – INFINITE LOVE AND MERCY – is telling us to HATE! And upon reflection, I can understand the object of the hatred. You see, here, Christ is not telling us to hate our families and our lives, He is telling us to VALUE the Cross… He is telling us that we must be willing to SURRENDER EVERYTHING TO HIM…

And upon further reflection, I stumbled upon the words of Venerable Fulton Sheen, who wrote in his book, “Victory over Vice”…

“It is not hatred that is wrong, it is hating the wrong thing that is wrong. It is not anger that is wrong, it is being angry at the wrong thing that is wrong. Tell me your enemy, and I will tell you what you are. Tell me your hatred, and I will tell you your character. Do you hate religion? Then your conscience bothers you. Do you hate the wealthy? Then you are avaricious, and you want to be wealthy. Do you hate sin? Then you love God. Do you hate your hate, your selfishness, your quick temper, your wickedness? Then you are a good soul...”

You see, Venerable Fulton Sheen had a very simple approach to the world. Once he said, “If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church, which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hated…”

For I was not created for this world, but for the next one. And that means that hatred has its part to play – even in the presence of INFINITE LOVE…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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