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 of righteousness. It makes no difference whether gold plates, or lead, or what metal you please, are placed over our eyelids, the value of the metal makes no difference in our blindness.
We have, it must be admitted, a use for anger excellently implanted in us for which alone it is useful and profitable for us to admit it, and that is when we are indignant and rage against the lustful emotions of our heart, and are vexed that the things that we are ashamed to do or say before others have risen up in the lurking places of our heart, as we tremble at the presence of the angels, and of God himself, who pervades all things everywhere, and fear with the greatest dread the eye of him from whom the secrets of our hearts cannot possibly be hid.–St. John Cassian, Institutes, 8.6-7
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do I feel a useful anger at my own failings?
Or is my anger more likely to be provoked by the failings I see in others?
Father, take away my sinfulness, and make me grow every day in love.
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