"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--it only causes harm."  Psalm 37:8

 

Psalm 37:7-9 (NKJV)

7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

     Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

     Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
     8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--it only causes harm.
       9For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.

 

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Anger

From St. Maximos the Confessor on ill-feeling and anger:

"Do you maintain that you are keeping the commandment of love towards your neighbor?  If so, why is there so much bitter ill-feeling in you against this or that person?  Is that not perhaps a sign that you are preferring transient goods to loving, and that just to possess them you are struggling even to the point of hostility to your brothers and sisters?

Sadness and ill-feeling go hand in hand.  So, if you are sad when you see your brother or sister's face, that probably means that you are harboring ill-feeling.

If it does, then pray for that brother or sister and you will weaken the drive of your passion, because prayer will purge of all bitterness the memory of the evil the other has done to you.  After that, by acquiring love for your neighbor, you will eradicate any trace of that passion from your soul.

If someone else is harboring ill-feeling against you, show yourself friendly towards him and also humble.  Treat him well and you will set him free from his passion.

It is essential to eradicate envy, anger and ill-feeling against people who have offended us.  But this in itself does not mean you are loving them.  One can avoid returning evil for evil simply because the Law commands it, without experiencing a scrap of love.  In this way you will make no progress to repaying evil with good.

Yet readiness to do good to someone who hates us is a characteristic of perfect love alone.

From Abba Poemen on anger:

A brother asked Abba Poemen: What does it mean to get angry at one's brother without cause?  And he replied:   When your brother attacks you, whatever the insults are, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause.  Even if he were to pull out your right eye and cut off your right hand, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause.  Yet if he were to try to take you away from God, then get angry!


From St. Ambrose of Optina, 1891 on hatred

 

There is no higher virtue than love, and there is no vice or passion worse than hatred, which - to someone who is not attentive to himself - seems of little importance; but in spiritual significance, it is likened to murder (I John 3:15).  Kindness ... to your neighbors, and forgiveness of their shortcomings, is the shortest path to salvation."  

 

 

 

 

 

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