Saturday, August 23, 2014

Changing Anger into Purity and Selflessness

There is so much anger in the world.

To quote Dowsett, whose little book, "With God in my Garden" is one I love: "Faraday, the great chemist, when a young man, awoke to the fact that he had a very strong temper which, unless kept in check, would ruin him. So whenever he found himself getting into this state of heated temper, he went into his workshop and worked it out. He saw that his temper was good energy, of great value to him; and indeed, this great fund of energy within, often carried him through many a difficult and trying experiment."

Life is a lot of awful stuff sometimes. Unbelievably so. But should we allow it to have power over us? Mere words seem trite when catastrophe, and chronic ongoing misery, are all about us, and our own lives are affected, either directly or indirectly. But the challenge we are all given is ultimately to make the best of our circumstances. If you must be angry, use the anger to focus your prayer, storm the kingdom of heaven with your rage. That way at least some good comes of it.

However, what of the chronic anger that gnaws because of some resentment? The keep you awake at night, stew upon it, bitter rage. That product of hurt that swings between raw anger and debilitating depression. Dealing with that requires a different approach, a combination of centering whereby you reach down for inner strength and stillness despite the challenge, and selflessness, whereby your focus and interest is not on the source of the anger but on others. That is at least what I think as I sit here and wrestle with my own inner rage and despair. And I feel stronger because of it. When faced with a direct challenge however you still have to man up and face your enemy. Do not seek that challenge. Christ did not seek the cross. But if it comes to it, yes, go into battle. But always remembering Christ who told us in Matthew 5: "Be not angry with your brother, lest you be put to trial."

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