It is the interior that defines who we are

From where does evil spring? Why is there evil in the world? Why does God allow evil to exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? These are questions that have been asked since man first came into being and will surely continue to be asked until the end of time.

We see the effects of evil in its exterior manifestations—its immediate impact on our lives and others—but evil comes from within, it comes from the innermost recesses of our thoughts and intentions, from the secret desires which only the individual soul can conceive.

It often appears to be easier to deal with external evil—we can either ignore it (it doesn’t affect me personally) or place our trust in others to deal with it—rather than with the interior evil that dwells within our own souls. We tend to evaluate ourselves and others in purely external ways: the number of prayers we recite, the amount of money we give, etc. There is nothing wrong with external things, but there is also an inner world that shapes and gives meaning to the external. The German philosopher, Hegel, one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century, wrote: “The Holy as a mere thing has the character of externality; thus it is capable of being taken possession of by another to my exclusion; it may come into an alien hand, since the process of appropriating it is not one that takes place in the Spirit…. The highest of human blessings is thus thought to be in the hands of others.”

Jesus said that it is not what goes into a person from the outside, but what comes from the inside. Father Jerome Cummings said, “Love is shown in your deeds not in your words.” If we say that we love God and proclaim our faith in him to everyone but do not show our trust in him then our words mean nothing.  What lies within us is who we are. What we present to others may be completely at odds with who we are. While others see only the exterior, God sees what is in our hearts.

If we truly wish to combat evil we need to look within. We must make ourselves holy; spotless in the site of God; living our lives in His presence. When we clean the interior, the exterior will be a direct reflection of God’s grace, and evil will not prevail.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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