When malice against anyone is roused in your heart, then believe with your whole heart that it is the work of the devil working in your heart: hate him and his brood, and malice will leave you. (Do not acknowledge it as anything of your own, and do not sympathize with it.) Unfortunately, the devil shelters himself behind us, and conceals himself, whilst we are blind, and, thinking we are doing everything of ourselves, begin to stand up for the devil’s works as if they were our own, as if for something just, although every idea of there being any justice in our passion is entirely false, impious, and hurtful.
Guide yourself by the same rule also in regard to others. When you see that anybody bears malice against you, do not consider his malice as his own doing; no, he is only the passive instrument of the evil one; he has not yet recognized his flattery and is deceived by him. Pray to God that the enemy may leave him and that the Lord may enlighten the eyes of his heart, darkened by the poisonous, noxious breathing of the spirit of evil. We must pray fervently for all those subjected to passions, for the enemy works within them. Passions are contagious owing to our spiritual organization; for instance, malice, even when not yet expressed in words—not expressed by acts, but still concealed in the heart, and reflected slightly in the face and eyes—is already transmitted to the soul of the man against whom I bear malice, and is also perceptible to others; if I am disturbed by passion my disturbance communicates itself to the heart of another, like a kind of spiritual overflow of an impure current from one spiritual receptacle into another. If you eradicate in yourself your passion against your brother, you eradicate the same passion in him too; when you are pacified he will also become pacified. What a close connection there is between souls! How true are the words of the Apostle: For we are members of one another.