Jealousy

Friends in Christ, C. S. Lewis, the great spiritual writer once said that evil does not only occur with famous criminals; it is also found in clean, carpeted, offices by quiet men in suits. Hell, he says, is probably more like our modern office complexes, where relationships are for personal gain, friendships are pretended alliances, and to be stabbed in the back, is commonplace.
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One of the least confessed, but yet most common sins, is jealousy, or envy. In the Epistle of St. James today, St. Paul says that jealousy and selfish ambition is from the devil, it is ‘demonic.’  
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The jealous person is sad over another person’s good. When someone else enjoys success, jealousy rears its ugly head. When a person is the jealous type, if they fail at something, they pout, and sulk, and are disgruntled that other succeed, like the Grinch who stole Christmas, who is angered every time someone else is happy.
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St. John Chysostom says, that as a moth gnaws at a garment, so does jealousy consume a man from the inside.’ There is an ancient Jewish story which tells how an angel visited a shopkeeper and offered him anything he wished, with one condition: whatever he would wish for, his main rival, the other shop owner, would get twice as much. What to do? In his envy, he finally came to a request: he asked to be blinded in one eye!
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Envy and jealousy detest that someone else should be blessed or succeed. It is not wrong to see a friend own a nice car or a nice dress, and wish to have the same, one day. Or to desire a promotion, or an honor, or a higher salary, for good reasons. But if we desire the downfall of another, or resent someone’s honors, or choose to get ahead by stepping on another – this is jealousy. Jealousy is rooted in pride, and comes to full flower in hatred.
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Today we see Our Lord curing this man who is oppressed by some kind of spirit or psychological malady; such afflictions are emblems for the poison of sin that wreaks havoc on us, and jealousy is one of those, for which we must pray the Lord to free us. We should heed the advice of St. James today: ‘Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is peaceable, gentle, and full of mercy and good fruits.

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