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A Treasury of Arkansas Writers Discussing the Catholic Faith
Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: June 24, 2023
By Lou Ann Gieringer
Former Campus Minister, Mount St. Mary Academy
Why do people act and speak as if they hate so many other people? What we hear and see on the news is overpoweringly sad, scary and filled with hate. Hate takes up so much energy and encompasses our lives with a feeling of helplessness.
We watch many horrific news stories on TV, see negativity as we scroll social media and hear hatred in our everyday conversations. It is overwhelming. God made each of us. He loves each of us. He asks us to love one another. How can we fight against hate? How can we make change happen in our world?
We change the world by:
It is not hard to find someone to help, to stand up for, to pray for, to show kindness to. Even a smile can help someone when they need support. We bring change to the world when we change how we react to the hate in the world.
St. Teresa of Kolkata said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Why don’t we start?
Someone I love deeply has lots of health and dependency issues. He lives by himself in another city. I do not love his problems. I am his connection. It is very hard. When we talk on the phone I become stressed with his lack of initiative to help himself. However I keep those emotions inside me. I listen. I pray for help. I encourage him to begin to make changes in his life. I listen as he tells me the same reasons that he cannot at this time make a change. I get frustrated, but I continue to support him the best that I can.
When he wants me to come and help him, I go. When he tells me the story of why he can’t start changing, I listen and encourage him to try, and then he tells me for the hundredth time he will try in a few days. It breaks my heart because I want him to step forward and make a change, even a tiny one. I want him to see that he is worth being loved, and that indeed he is loved. No matter how frustrated I become, I will not give up.
I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me as I try to let love lead the way. I can’t hide from my responsibility to love. I cannot hide from all the hate and sadness that is happening in our world either.
As believers, we are called to love and serve God. We are called to help others. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ on earth. There are so many hurting people, including me some days. It is not hard to find someone to help, to stand up for, to pray for, to show kindness to. Even a smile can help someone when they need support.
We bring change to the world when we change how we react to the hate in the world. I believe that love is more powerful than hate. I believe when we try to help others, and when we try to understand those that might not be loved by the world, we are acting out God’s plan for us.
“So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (1 John 4:16)