Question from Anon on 4/5/2008:
What is a good way to combat envy? I am envious of some of my friends and family members because they seem to be more intelligent/wealthier, and just all around better than me. I have some good qualities, but I can't seem to measure up to these folks. Are those who are wealthier/more intelligent favored by God?
Answer by Fr. Jay Toborowsky on 4/14/2008:
Your comment about the more intelligent/wealthier being favored by God was actually a common belief at the time of Christ. That's why the Beatitudes were so revolutionary (for example, how could the poor be "blessed"?)
How to combat envy? When faced with that in confession I remind people that we live with "blinders" on sometimes, that shield us from any other perspective except our own. Think about this: there is someone right now who envies what you have or the way you do something better than they do. A little envy isn't a bad thing, if seeing what another has can get us motivated to work harder to earn more money to buy what we want, that's good. However, if seeing what another has gets us motivated to steal it away from them, then that's not so good.