While I have been thinking about my post on Anger for a while, today's stunning news from Virginia Tech has pushed me to do so today. I am not sure of any details about what happened today, but of this I am quite sure.
The source of our mistaken relationships, the fountain of anger begins within ourselves, and then lashes out toward or against others. In the end, however, as I have learned through my own bitter experience, it is ourselves we hurt the most when we fail to deal with our anger.
It is a failure to love, and that failure is death to the soul.
One key to dealing with anger, is to discern one's own thoughts. Specifically, when anger arises, we have the opportunity to look carefully at our souls and how we relate to God through others. Failure to do so results in blindness of the most complete kind.
Conversely, anger provides us the opportunity to practice vigilant discernment over our own thought life, and to recognize humbly our need of outside help, whether that be grace from God or simply the counsel of a wise elder to help us clear the air. In fact, in writing this I realize that the latter is perhaps the best way to achieve the former.
It is hard work.
It is interior work.
It is work helped along by the realization that such a road is also the road
trod by our Lord and His disciples.
From Cassian, as quoted by Meg Funk:
"We should constantly search all the inner chambers of our hearts lest, unhappily, some beast related to the understanding, either lion or dragon, passing thorugh, has furtively left dangerous marks of his track.
And so, daily and hourly, turn up the ground of our hearts with the gospel plough, i.e. the ocnstant recollection of the lord' cross. By doing so, we shall manage to stamp out from our hearts the lairs of noxious beasts and thel urking places of poisonous serpents."
So, no matter how many news analyses you see about what happened out East today, the most productive question for us to ask is this, "why is this happening to us as humans now?"
What in our own lives allows such anger to build up, lash out, and overtake our society and our individual lives?