T4W: Evil Zeal

452789-queen_zeal‘Ingrid knew that their quarrel left a reserve of bitterness which would be tapped later’.

Saint Benedict warns of the development of evil zeal, a gland of bitterness. St Basil calls this bitterness ‘clever nastiness’.

Despite our so called advances in science and psychology, this side of our nature remains alive and active and can easily get the upper hand in our lives.

This isolated side, living inside me, ice cold with its voice, a dry whine acts  as a ventriloquist for mine and dislikes the outer world.

It is clever and inventive, and can manipulate thoughts and ideas.

It will happily talk and make judgements on my behalf. It is marked by extreme negativity with an almost pathological hatred for joy or warmth.

Lent is a time to confront this ‘clever nastiness’.