Struggles with Anger
Anger as an emotion is not sinful; it is neutral, as all emotions are. But, when the force of the will is added, anger can quickly become sinful. When the will tells the emotion of anger to rise irrationally (and ultimately flourish out of control), it becomes a ‘deadly’ sin.
What is anger?
Anger is the inordinate desire to punish or seek revenge. Anger is a passion, and passions are neutral, so anger can be bad or good depending on how it is used. (Jesus got angry in a good way!) When anger is used in a vengeful way, it is a vice—or capital sin.
Living with anger
Many of us know what it’s like to experience out-of-control anger. We may exhibit a short temper, be given to unreasonable outbursts, or seek revenge. If these ‘symptoms’ pop up regularly in your life, than you might have particular struggles with anger. But there is good news. Through prayer and some hard work, you can free yourself from the heavy burdens that anger brings and the damage it can cause to your relationships. You can treat your anger by working on the virtue that helps temper our anger: forgiveness, “meekness.”
What do the experts say?
“He that is angry without cause shall be in danger, but he that is angry with cause shall not.” –St. John Chrysostom
“Anger’s special danger is that it leads to the worst sin of all: hatred, the opposite of love, which is the greatest good.” –Dr. Peter Kreeft
“Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” –Matthew 5:22
“Anger is a desire for revenge.” –CCC 2302
How do I treat my anger?
By cultivating its opposing virtue: forgiveness, meekness.