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Sunday, April 1, 2018

     “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5: 21-24) 

     This is not my Church’s reading for today, when we are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day on which our Lord enters Jerusalem, where He is soon to be killed on a cross. Nonetheless, I am thinking about th...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin (ὀργίζεσθε καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε); do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no place (τόπον) to the devil.” (Eph 4: 25-27)

What kind of “anger” is St. Paul talking about here? The kind that is directed not at people, either others or ourselves, but at “falsehood.” This kind of “anger” is a gift from God and a helpful tool, which I can pick up briefly to “put away falsehood.” But I don’t let “the sun go down” on such anger, lest it mutate into a “falsehood” of its own, which will begin to eat away at me and my relationships with others.

Today let me use anger to shed God’s light on darkness, rather than to perpetuate it. Let me not be afraid to...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; because human anger does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.…” (James 1: 19-21)

 

Indeed, my anger does not “accomplish” the good I supposedly want from the situations and people in my life; the “righteousness of God.” And by “anger” I don’t mean feelings of irritation, hurt, and vulnerability. These need to be recognized, walked through, and healed in the light and humility “of the word implanted,” rather than escaped through anger or “substituted.”

 

Anger is called a “substitute emotion” because it lets me cover up my pain and vulnerability with the delusion of control...

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