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Wrath

‘So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God’ [James 1:19-20]. The wrath of man is unjust, ungracious, and severe. It proceeds from uncontrolled anger, not from God's judgment….Because a diseased mind has no control over its own judgment, it thinks that whatever anger suggests must be right….For us to discern the righteousness of God requires patience, graciousness, and controlled passions.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:19-20, St. Gregory the Great)


“What happens to you when you get angry? Actually you surrender to anger or, better stated, you indulge yourself in anger. Everyone except the frustrated parent can smile and ignore a child in the throes of a temper tantrum. But anger at any age or stage of life is just a reversion to the infantile self-indulgence of a tantrum. The result is that the anger like a raging fire feeds on itself. Your anger increases. That’s not the end. You are drawn into a demonic state. You’re out of control, the Holy Spirit lies dormant in your heart, your guardian angel is helpless and remains silent, and you welcome the power of evil in your soul. The question often asked: If God is good and created only goodness, how did evil happen? You know the answer instinctively—because your instinct to surrender to anger is proof that evil comes from the need for satisfaction of your wrath.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“I suspect many of us have the phrases “old self” and “new self” in our Bibles—but this is NOT what the text says. These two contrasting figures are not parts of us, inside of us, as though they are a faculty or a conscience. They are not “selves.”  We are either connected with Adam, our first-father, who brought death into the world, or we are connected with the Lord of life….We do not like to think about the wrath of God, I know. It is important to remember that God’s wrath is NOT the opposite of God’s love. It is how God’s love and justice are experienced by those who do not love Him. To those whose treasure lies elsewhere, the light and warmth of God burns. To those who are governed by darkness and lies, the second Advent will not be welcome.” (Edith M. Humphrey)


“I read a story in the newspaper called “God, Your Brain” by Michael Gerson. In it, he quotes the leading expert on the neurological basis for religion, Andrew Newberg. In his work on brain imaging, he has found that people who practice prayer and meditation actually alter the neural connections of the brain. This leads to “long-lasting states of unity, peacefulness and love.” He found that this happens fast—a matter of weeks, not years. A strong religious belief amplifies this effect on the brain, “enhancing social awareness and empathy while subduing destructive feelings and emotions.” “Contemplating a loving God strengthens portions of our brain – particularly the frontal lobes and the anterior cingulate – where empathy and reason reside. On the other hand, contemplating a wrathful god empowers the limbic system, which is filled with aggression and fear. It is a sobering concept: The God (or god) we love changes us into his image!” (Fr. Stephen Powley)


“The apostles found as they journeyed through Samaria to Jerusalem that the Samaritans were hard to bear. As we journey to the Kingdom, we also find plenty of people hard to bear, and we are tempted by the sin of anger. It will make for a happier journey if we leave such wrath alone, and walk with the Lord in peace.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)


#OrthodoxStudyBible #StGregorytheGreat #FrVladimirBerzonsky #EdithMHumphrey #FrStephenPowley #FrLawrenceFarley


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