Christians in an Angry World
“Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement.” (Matthew 5:22) We seem to be living in a time of anger. Some are angry about politics and some about the church. Some are angry with family members and some are just angry. In a society so deeply divided, anger at “the other side” not only seems justified but perhaps the only way to respond. Unfortunately, anger in such a hostile environment is almost always destructive.
Anger is nothing new. From the day Cain killed Abel, history has recorded many stories of anger gone awry. In fact, there are nearly 100 passages in the Bible dealing with the issue of anger. Anger literally means a strong feeling of displeasure. However, Webster’s Dictionary uses five synonyms to describe it. They are ire, rage, fury, indignation, and wrath. Each may describe anger differently by its cause, intensity, or outcome. For example, indignation is called righteous anger that someone may feel toward an unfair or shameful act. Rage or fury implies an uncontrolled response, and wrath suggests a desire to avenge or punish. The church lists anger as one of the seven deadly sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church call this anger “a desire for revenge.” (#2302) Anger always looks to blame someone or something for the displeasure. Sometimes honest, sometimes dishonest; but when one’s desired punishment is serious evil or harm to one’s adversary, the anger is gravely sinful. So what can be done?
First, it starts with a choice. I can choose to give in to my anger or resist it. When the prodigal son returned home after indulging himself, his father and his brother made different choices. His father embraced his son choosing his son over the offense. The brother did the opposite. I don’t need to tell you who was the happier of the two.
Secondly, I can look for solutions to the conflict rather than blame. Blaming others for my displeasure will not resolve an issue. It points a finger rather than offers a hand. We do not have to agree, but unless we understand and appreciate the other point of view, there will be no solution and the end result may be worse. Jesus advised his disciples to settle with their opponent on the way to court, less the judge decide in opponent’s favor and “throw you into prison.” (Matthew 5:25)
My third suggestion is something Pope Paul VI said. “If you want peace, work for justice.” In other words never lose sight of what your ultimate goal should be. If we are to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, then we are bound to resolve our offenses against charity and against justice.
This Lent is perhaps the time to reflect on my own anger. What can I do to build peace in an angry world…better yet, what am I doing?
Fish Fries Resume
The ever-popular Men's Club Fish Fries are back! Please join us every Friday from February 19 through March 26 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. All orders will be take-out only with a limited menu. Fill out your menu and bring it with you - a volunteer will pick it up from your car and have your order prepared for you. Click on the headline above for the Men's Club page - menu is located there and can be downloaded.
Fish Fry Drive-Through Menu DOWNLOAD HERE
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All Things Lent
All are welcome to join the Monday Morning Study Group for their Lenten study beginning on Monday, February 22. The group meets in-person in the Rectory Basement, and online for those who prefer. Simply send Deacon Dave an email request and he will send you an invitation and instructions on how to join online. The group meets from 9:15
11:30 a.m., though usually we conclude around 11. Send your email request to
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