Fr. ROY CIMAGALA
June 28, 2018
WITH all the toxic
environment we are having these days, especially in the area of
politics, and most especially when some political characters
recklessly comment on religious topics, to get angry is a very
likely reaction we all can have.
We just have to be wary of
our anger because as St. James already warned us in his letter,
“man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.” (1,20)
We always tend to go overboard, and our anger can already go beyond
the scope of charity and righteousness.
Let’s never forget that we
have a wounded condition here in our earthly life. We may appear
strong and clearly endowed with powerful talents and resources, but
all these good things can blind and intoxicate us also and can
plunge us into a very subtle form of pride, vanity, arrogance and
We can feel that we have
all the truth and fairness in our side, but just the same all that
can still be held outside of charity. And let’s remember that
charity is the fullness of knowledge, truth, justice. Where there is
no charity, the charity of God, all the other virtues can at best be
only apparent. They can look and feel like virtues, but in reality
While we can try to
reflect God’s anger on certain occasions in our own brand of anger
over some issues, we should be most careful, because with our
wounded condition, we can easily fall into hatred and other forms of
lack of charity.
Yes, anger is one of our
God-given emotions, locked into our nature as persons. It has its
legitimate use. But precisely because of our precarious human
condition here on earth, we have to be wary of it. In fact, anger is
also considered one of the capital sins, along with pride, envy,
greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, that can beget many other sins.
If ever we have to be
angry, let’s try our best to be angry in the spirit of Christ who
showed anger over the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes, and over
those who turned the temple into a market place. Christ’s anger is
what is called righteous anger, one that is done always in charity
and in the truth, and not just due to opinions and biases. It’s an
anger that is meant to correct, purify, heal.
Besides, Christ’s anger is
only momentary. It does not last long. As a psalm would put it, “his
anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping
may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (30,5)
He is slow to anger, and quick to forgive.
Again, St. James tells us
that “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to
become angry.” (1,19) And a proverb warns us that “a hot-tempered
man stirs up strife, but a slow to anger calms a dispute.” (15,18)
We really have to learn
how to hold our horses, especially when we feel provoked or incited.
We have to lengthen our patience, our capacity to suffer. We have to
broaden our mind so we can we can quickly and easily capture the
more important things in a given issue rather than react immediately
to things that are only incidental to that issue.
It’s always good to have a
pro-active attitude in this regard, that is, that we always think
well of everyone even if there are differences among us. We should
not wait for everyone to prove that they deserve our good
consideration. We give it at the start, and keep it all the way, in
spite of some conflicts.
We have to turn those
moments when we are tempted to get angry to deepen our love for
others out of our love for God.