I'll bet I could break the Guinness World Book of Records for the time it me takes to discover a person is a sociopath.
Let us face it. Religion and politics are sociopath magnets. Practicing Catholics are so focused on Christ, the Eucharist, the Sacraments, serving Him, we are forever riding benefit of the doubt right off the cliff.
The danger with sociopaths isn't that they can steal from, hurt or slander you/your family. The situation is a breeding ground for sin. We're not qualified to help them, they are a drain on every resource and inevitably, they polish our image into a false god - for themselves and for us.
Bookmark this for future reference: How to Spot a Sociopath
It is so on the money it is chilling.
I would add a few things to the article.
Sociopaths always have sob stories about how everyone has done them wrong. They don't have continuity in their relationships. There is always a new BFF. Every member of their family is persecuting and betraying them.
Most sociopaths I've come across are not the Jim Jones types who resort to physical murder. But they are poisonous and before they are done with you they will slay something. Slaying is their empowerment. Food they cannot live without. You're their heroin. Their hot fudge sundae. When they are done feasting you become the enemy.
The absolute worst thing you can do after an experience with a sociopath is give them space in your head, heart or soul. Truth be told, I have to let go of even praying for them as I have found it is another way of keeping them in my mind, heart and/or seeing myself as the source of their redemption.
God always has something to teach us about ourselves in these encounters. For me, I always see myself as deeply immersed in Christ and repeatedly, I find how easily I'm led away from Him and into the desert. I have absolutely no recollection of how I got there. I can't think of a thing that was good or attractive about the pied piper.
“Man is the shadow, who would be the substance;
the pendulum who would swing without being suspended from the clock; the painting which would deny that an artist’s hand ever touched it. The most daring of all sins is that of self-deification,
and it is possible only because of a divine creation for who would want to be God unless he had come from the hand of God?”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen