The Bible has several references to malice. and in some passages, malice is equated with anger. However, the great thinkers of the Church define malice as cold-headed hatred, a sins of the intellect. Thomas Aquinas states that there is not a natural proclivity to malice, as there is to others sins. This means that malice is freely chosen. Hostility and loathing form part of malice, which also means that a person loaths God in him. The fact that the angels are intellectual beings indicate that the sin of pride against God brought about great malice, immediately.
Recently, I have written several posts on malice. One reason for this preoccupation on this most severe of sins, an intellectual sin, when someone decides to hate and to do evil, is that I have met this sin over and over again in my travels, and many of my closest friends are suffering from malice in their families.
Malice for the person who practices this evil, not only kills the soul, but deadens the conscience. That people choose to hate and do evil against others, means that they are working against the love and grace of God. Sometimes malice grows out of envy or jealously, or rage. Sometimes malice is merely the love of doing evil. Yes, some people get a buzz from doing evil.
Malice moves people to invoke gods other than the Crucified God, other than Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Frequently malicious people not only take a perverse pleasure in causing chaos and havoc in people’s lives, but manipulate others to act in malicious ways as well.
Entire tribes, or peoples, entire nations can be eaten up with malice, and “eaten up” is a good phrase to describe the interior feeding of malice by evil thoughts. One feeds evil by ruminating on past hurts, or past sins against one. Malice, therefore, involves unforgiveness. In fact, malice and unforgiveness connect in the black roots of anger.
I am, surrounded where I am now, by people who choose to hate. They hate Catholics, especially, and they hate Christians. They hate some sects in their own heresy, and they hate tribes and nations.
Hatred which is taught and chosen is a sin of the intellect, and contrary to popular belief, the intellect can be ruled by the passions. We have passions to deal with in both the higher and lower faculties.
Passions feed malice, and those who want to be freed of the sin of malice, must deal with the passions which add to malice.
Pride can be one of the sins behind malice. Satan’s pride led to his maliciousness against Christ and His Church. Even today, Christians bear the malice of others around the globe.
What combats malice? Love. Love of Christ on the Cross. Accepting suffering graciously, learning to be like Christ, thinking with the Mind of Christ.
But, those who live in malice hate Jesus Christ openly. They hate the God Within. They, therefore, become servants of malice. But, if these people are not baptized they have never been freed from being “slaves of Satan”, as we learn in the old catechism.
Malice will be what comes against us in the coming days of persecution. Malice will seem like mercy and peace to those who will be duped by the Antichrist, speaking in terms of a peace without Christ.
Beware of those who speak of a peace without the Trinity. Beware of those who speak of peace without Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Learn to discern those who are speaking false peace and those who are speaking true peace.
“Peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives, but as I give”, says the Lord.
Christ’s peace is the answer to malice. Yet, when one is peaceful, malicious people hate those who are truly peaceful in Christ more and more. We shall see this in our times, and it has all happened before….