It is nothing less than blasphemy, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, if you pray while you’re angry with your neighbor. This is the first commandment: that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and with your strength as much as you are able. The sign that you love God is this: that you love your neighbor. If you hate your neighbor, your hatred is really for God. It is blasphemy if you pray to… Read more

The cause of our gloominess is nowhere outside ourselves, says St. John Cas­sian. Depression grows like a weed from the seeds of our own faults. Sometimes depression is the fault of previous anger, or springs from the desire of some gain that has not been realized, when someone has found that he has failed in his hope of getting the things he had planned to get. But sometimes, without any apparent reason for our being driven to fall into this… Read more

Anger clouds our judgment, says St. John Cassian. The only way to be safe is to make up our minds not to be angry at all, even when we think we have a good reason. The athlete of Christ who plays by the rules ought to root out the feeling of wrath completely. And it will be a sure remedy for this disease, if in the first place we make up our mind that we ought never to be angry… Read more

We often say that someone has “made” us angry. Don’t blame someone else, says St. John Cassian. You can’t control the actions of others, but you have control over your own virtue. Sometimes, when we have been overcome by pride or impatience, and we want to improve our rough and bearish manners, we complain that we require solitude—as if we should find the virtue of patience there where nobody provokes us. We apologize for our carelessness, and say that the… Read more

The passion of anger blinds us and sends us tumbling into sin, says St. John Cassian. But there is one right use for it. We should be very angry at our own failings, and that anger should lead us to overcome them. From almost every cause the emotion of wrath boils over, and blinds the eyes of the soul, and, bringing the deadly beam of a worse disease over the keen­ness of our sight, prevents us from seeing the sun… Read more

Some people, says St. John Cassian, try to excuse their anger by saying that righteous anger is perfectly fine. Doesn’t the Bible talk a lot about God’s “wrath”? But God is not subject to human passions. You can’t justify your own sin by an appeal to the metaphorical language of Scripture. We have heard some people trying to excuse this most pernicious disease of the soul (anger), trying to extenuate it by a rather shocking way of interpreting Scripture. They… Read more

“Gratitude is like cholera.” Not quite the way I was expecting the chapter to lead off but upon reading Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life (and World) it seemed to make sense. Chris Lowney has written a book that teaches readers how to build a better. I had the pleasure of being part of a blog tour for the book, and my focus will be on Chapter 8 – Be More Grateful. This is a trait that… Read more

The visionary Hermas is told that anger forces the Holy Spirit to take flight from our souls. Once we let anger in, we’re on the road to “incurable sin.” Listen, and hear how wicked the action of anger is, and how it over­throws the servants of God and turns them away from righteousness. For as soon as it sees the thoughtless and doubting standing steadfast, it throws itself into their hearts, and the man or woman starts to get angry… Read more

If you are angry at your neighbor, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, you are angry at God, because your neighbor is the image of God. But if you honor your neighbor, you honor God. If you are angry against your neighbor, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, your pride is lifted up against the Lord. If you rebuke in envy, all your reproof is wicked. But if love dwells in you, you have… Read more

We should try to keep from getting angry, says St. Ambrose. But if anger sneaks up on us, we should try to calm ourselves. And if we can’t do that, we should at least keep ourselves from saying something we’ll regret. Guard against anger. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The… Read more

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