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Anger and Resentment

“Some people do not allow themselves to experience or process anger, even in an appropriate way, because of shame. Shame can make us feel we are not worthy to feel anger. In essence, we believe on a deep and even unconscious level that our feelings do not really matter, and as a result we end up suppressing them. This leads to the building up of great resentment.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“St. Dorotheos of Gaza described the case of a man who sat in the marketplace, seeming at peace and minding his own business. Along came a man who said something unkind to him. The man felt justified in being angered with the passer-by and blamed him for disturbing his peace. But the saint said that the man deceived himself. The man who annoyed him did not put the antagonism in his soul. Anger was already there like mold on a piece of stale bread. All it took was a word, and the fury of resentment flamed up inside of him.” (St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Fr. Basil)

“When the bond [of our relationship] is broken with other people, we tend to objectify them and judge them, not seeing them as persons, but only as objects of our anger and hurt. This is our sinful reaction. We categorize people in terms of their transgression against us. The longer we nurture the anger and alienation, the more deeply the resentment takes hold in our heart, and the more it feeds on our soul… resentment becomes a toxin for our souls and poison for our relationships. And the only treatment is forgiveness…This pardon is not the superficial acceptance of an apology that forgives but does not forget. It is the sincere overlooking of the wrong as if it had not happened (Matthew 18:35).” (Hieromonk Jonah, Fr. Basil)

“Grateful people tend to be satisfied with what they have and so are less susceptible to such emotions as disappointment, regret, and frustration. People who believe in God as He is conceived in Christianity have an even more powerful resource for transcending many of the circumstances that disappoint, frustrate, and anger most of us. In consequence, grateful people, whether religious or not, will be less prone to emotions such as anger, resentment, envy, and bitterness, that tend to undermine happy social relations.” (Robin Phillips)

“We are baptized into Christ’s death in order to rise up with Him into a life of holiness in which we regain the robe of light rejected by our first parents. In every aspect of our lives, we must become radiant with the divine glory shared with us by the New Adam. In order to do so, we must find healing for the passions that have taken root in our hearts and have distorted our relationships even with those we love most in this life. In how we treat everyone from those closest to us to complete strangers, we must reject the temptation to be controlled by pride, hatred, anger, resentment, or the desire to dominate others. It does not matter whether we are at home, work, school, or other settings, or whether we think we are in private or in public. If we have put on Christ in baptism, we must become living icons of Christ’s salvation and peace to all we encounter.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


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