Q&A January

Q. I am always very suspicious. Is that good?

I would say that it can be a good or an evil. If it is a question of being suspicious of a particular person you meet, no matter who he may be or why you have met, then it seems to me that you have a suspicious disposition which is contrary to simplicity and charity. St. Paul:

If however the suspicion can rather be termed cautiousness, then it cannot of itself be an evil. On the contrary, cautiousness is a necessary part of the virtue of prudence.

If for example one would meet some stranger on the street and already you weigh him up in evil, whereas there is no reason to do so, it is an evil and will fall under the sin of bitter judgment which is contrary to both charity and justice.

But if now you were to sign up some agreement with this stranger, then it will be prudent to be cautious. At this moment it is the weakness of human nature that you recognise and it is only wise to take due precaution. Such a suspicious attitude, if we may call it so, cannot be an evil.

Q. But today we cannot trust anyone anymore. Even should I meet a stranger on the street, I already see a thief in him. I am already on my guard should he do me some harm. Is this disposition evil?

It is indeed very sad that society has caused such mistrust. I do not think that I will contradict what I have said above, when I say that such a mistrust, in the context of today, is not an evil! It is, it seems to me, a general mistrust which arises not to much out of a disposition of suspicion, but from a certain fear. You have seen and heard of countless events of theft and so taking care that your purse remains out of sight is an effect of prudence. This mistrust is rather a general mistrust than a particular one aimed at this person in front of you.