Hating Sin and Loving Sinners
Too often we Catholics are accused of hating on the sinner. Which, is wrong. We don’t “hate the sinner” as that would go completely contradictory to that of what Jesus taught us…”love one another, as I have loved you.” We do not hate the sinner, but we love him. We hate the sin that he commits, but we ultimately must love him.
“It [Christianity] came in startlingly with a sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all. It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before. There was room for wrath and love to run wild.” G.K. Chesteron “Orthodoxy” p.97
We all are sinners, thus we can’t be mad at the individual, lest we be mad with ourselves. It is a trap that the Devil lays so elegantly, that when someone offends us, we jump, partly out of spite, and partly out of anger, and attack the individual. But we must be wary! This will not fly, and I know that those on the traditional side of the camp are guilty of appearing to be this way. I think that in general, it is the sin that we are upset with, but we, in our weakness, poorly explain why we are angry, and uncharitably put all blame on the sinner. This is not to say that the sinner is not at fault, because after all, when someone robs your house, you are angry with the robber for committing such a crime. But, we are called to love him, but hate his crime.
All of us must work on this. Forgive those who have offended you, especially if you want the Lord to forgive you for your offenses.