Little Bakhita came face to face with evil at an early age after being captured and sold as a slave. Treated cruelly by her masters, she was too young to fight back and too small to offer any resistance, so how did she keep this wickedness from getting a grip on her soul?
Bakhita did the one thing she innately knew to do: she overcame evil with good. St. Paul writes to the Roman Christians: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-19, 21)
There is still much evil in the world today, but we can't combat it with more of the same. As Christians we must, like St. Josephine Bakhita, continue to quietly bring goodness to light with our lives moment by moment. Our prayers, our actions, and our sacrifices all work towards this goal. Christ can take the smallest charitable deed and bring great good from it - as when He multiplied the five loaves and two fishes which a young boy sacrificed to feed thousands. (John 6:8-15) He only asks that we trust Him and offer what little we have.
If we can control our urge to lash back at someone who hurt us, offer up our physical pain, ignore gossip, smile when we are tired, skip a meal or snack when we are really hungry, then we give God our own loaves and fishes for Him to multiply. Like a hungry child at the feet of Jesus or a lonely little girl who knew Him deep in her heart, let our smallest actions reflect the Love with which God created the world.
St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!