About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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When we say: "The people like this" we regard them as unable to develop, as animals rather than human beings, and we simply neglect our duties in helping them towards a true human existence — indeed, in this case, to truly Christian existence.
— Professor László Dobszay (2003)

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The Evils of Envy
published 17 April 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Here is another audio I put on my new web: Me Speaking #3 Healing of Envy December, 2006

NVY! WHAT A ROLE it plays in many of our lives. It could begin with feeling a sibling got more love in the family because he or she was prettier, brighter, or more talented. In school, envy of classmates who were better looking, or stronger, or richer, or had greater ability in sports or academics, or the more popular? At work, envy of those higher up on the ladder or those more sought after socially, or those with more sex appeal. In Church life envy of those closer to the priest, or of the priest himself by those who wished they had that vocation, family Christians envying the freedom of the singles; and singles envying the married and the parents. And, of course, we can envy those who seem more holy than we are as in “how come she thinks Jesus is talking to her specially? If He talked to people that way, it should be me?”

Think about the horrible feeling in ourselves when we envy such as low-self-esteem in the area where we can’t compare; bitter resentment that we don’t have what the other does, admiration sullied by dislike of the one who is envied. Often there is a desire to find fault with the envied person, to run them down, or gloat over their failures.

One of my main areas of envy started with my unidentical twin-sister, Carla, a dancer, who was ethereal and graceful where I was clumsy with nervous jerky hand gestures. In later years I envied anyone with that kind of graceful beauty, such as certain women prophetesses in charismatic renewal who spoke with hands upraised in voices flowing with supernatural grace.

What heals such envy?

First, I believe we have to admit to our envy, no matter how shameful.

Secondly, we need to trace childhood feelings of being less lovable because not as good in some respect as someone else.

Thirdly, we should bring to Jesus our feelings of being less than another, our fear that He loves us less because we lack some quality another has more of.

We can ask Him to tell us how He loves us even if we feel inferior.

After we have let Him show us in whatever way He wishes that we are lovable, we need to repent of any ways we have hurt those we envy by gossiping about them, or tearing them down.

When we are healed we will be able simply to admire those with qualities we wish we had more of; rejoicing in being able to enjoy their gifts.

Here is when healing of envy began in my life. I was visiting a monastery of contemplative nuns. While waiting to speak to the Superior, I sat in the chapel and observed them one by one coming in for prayer, able to sit in perfect stillness, rapt in communion with the Lord.

I thought to myself, how can Jesus love such a fidgety wretch as I am, who can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes. I will never be holy.

Jesus seemed to speak in my heart with these never to be forgotten words: You will never be a woman of that kind of peace. You are a Jewish convert and you carry the Jewish yearning for the Messiah. In the Church, your name is not peace, but yearning.

If you have any envy in your heart – why not try the steps I just suggested. May God bless you and help you to understand your own special lovableness.


My sister sent me Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius for Christmas as asked. I had worn my cassettes down playing it at all the family deaths for months over and over again. I love the exalted pathos of it. This time I was sure Blessed Cardinal Newman, who wrote the poem, must have inspired Elgar melody by melody since Newman was a musician. I thought “It is Newman’s Jesus, that I love. This is Your song, Jesus.