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 at all, whether for good or bad reasons. For we know that we shall immediately lose the light of discernment, and the security of good counsel, and our very uprightness, and the temperate character of righteousness, if the main light of our heart has been darkened by its shadows. We also know that the purity of our soul will presently be clouded, and that it cannot possibly be made a temple for the Holy Ghost while the spirit of anger resides in us.
Finally, we should consider that we never ought to pray, or pour out our prayer to God, while we are angry.
And above all, having before our eyes the uncertain condition of mankind, we should realize daily that we are soon to depart from the body, and that our continence and chastity, our renunciation of all our possessions, our contempt of wealth, our efforts in fasts and vigils—all these things will not help us at all, if solely on account of anger and hatred eternal punishments are awarded to us by the judge of the world.–St. John Cassian, Institutes, 8.22
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I been angry recently for a justifiable reason—at politicians, or other drivers, or inconsiderate clerks?
The next time the same sort of thing happens, will I be able to remember that my anger is under my own control?
Father, sow love, peace, and concord toward everyone in my soul, and free my heart from all bitterness.
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