Journey To The Heights! – 7 Deadly Sins taken down by 7 Lively Virtues
Week 3 — Anger is taken down by Forgiveness.
Anger is a natural part of human nature. “Be angry but do not sin” Ephesians 4:26. It is also a legitimate response to injustice; we are right to be angry at injustices as this type of anger is a passion to set things right. It becomes a sin when it becomes vengeful; St. Thomas Aquinas describes the sin of anger as “an unreasonable, irrational, and immoderate desire for vengeance.” It is not helped when we give in to the tendency of clinging to our anger and our resentment.
Antidote: Forgiveness. Forgiveness is an active engagement of evil in order to undue it; it is interrupting the horrible rhythm of anger and violence by forgiving and not seeking revenge. When you meet fire with fire, you enflame and awaken the blaze. If you meet it with forgiveness, you diffuse the power anger can have. Here are ways to conquer anger.
_Take a concrete step today to heal a broken relationship, such as writing a note or making a phone call. Don’t let forgiveness be just a vague abstraction; do something concrete.
_When you’re offended, forgive quickly, and don’t brood in your anger. If you hold on to your anger and withhold your forgiveness, the devil has more time to work on you, tempting you to sin.
_Get in the way of gossip or scapegoating. St. Augustine had a sign over his dinner table: “No one speaks ill of his brother at this table.” St. Augustine enforced this as he would ask brothers to leave if they spoke ill of one another.
_Keep your own sins in mind as this helps you realize that you have been forgiven far more than others have offended you. Really listen and reflect on your sins during the confiteor at Mass (“I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned…”) Go to confession. Forgiveness is made palpable through this great sacrament, and it makes you a better forgiver.