The words of Jesus today can make us feel worried. He said, "Everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment" (Mt. 5:21). Is there anyone here or joining online who has never been angry? Even Jesus got angry a few times, but he used it in the right way and for the right purpose.
Dr. David Seamands, author of books on mental health, said anger is natural. He wrote,
"Anger is a divinely implanted emotion. Closely allied to our instinct for right, it is designed to be used for constructive spiritual purposes. The person who cannot feel anger at evil is a person who lacks enthusiasm for good. If you cannot hate wrong, it's very questionable whether you really love righteousness."
"Anybody can become angry; that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way -- that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
So, what do we do? Ann Marie, a young woman in one of our Ministry Centers in East African found a way.
She had lost her job. In the same week, she lost her one-day-old twins! She was very angry with God and others. She had every right to be.
In the middle of her confusion, she landed on a message on our Holy Cross Family Ministries Jinja Facebook page encouraging people to run to Mother Mary when everything is going wrong. At first, she was angrier and lashed out verbally though social media. Our team connected with her and started engaging her through online counseling. She became consoled and encouraged, and she sought to know more about our ministry. Now we are still in touch, and she continues to Praise God for the right help she received.
The best way I have found to overcome anger is to focus carefully as Aristotle said and pray, as Holy Cross Family Ministries taught Ann Marie, that I can express my anger adequately, proportionately, and rationally. So, friends, let us accept anger as natural and pray for grace to focus and deal with it constructively so that we can come to terms with our anger and be reconciled to our brother or sister.
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.