Friday, March 2, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 9

BEADS OF JOY 3-02-12 “Be Reconciled To One Another”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 9
My Friends,

We must not allow anger to rule our lives. I admit I fall into the challenge of this trap at times, more so now than ever before in my life, mostly because of politics. Today's reading brings us to Matthew 5:20-26 (Teachings About Anger). It is only through the Grace of God that we can even remotely even think of dealing with such anger. Lent is a fabulous time for dealing with issues and topics in our lives that we want to change. We must completely uproot and remove this horrible disease of such a forbidden desire that destroys the heart and soul. Jesus guides us very specifically in scripture, "He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly." Mark 7:20-22. Many of you who know me, might be wondering how I can be angry. It's true I don't have an angry, mean and violent bone in my body. I really don't. But...

I'll speak to you from the heart, as I always do. I do have passions that if they are messed with, anger me to the boiling point. Here's a quick outline of some of these most sensitive topics that hit my anger nerve: "against anyone who dares to hurt my family, same with anyone who dares to harm friends that I love; when my Jesus is violently or viciously spoken of; when my dearest most Blessed Mother is treated with deep disrespect; when our freedoms in America are in danger of being deceitfully teared out of lives, and abortion, don't even get me started with abortion." I think I covered most of those topics that boil my blood. My passion alone was in those few words typed in that statement. This is what we must remember, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:25-27.

We must reconcile ourselves before God and those we have such anger towards, from this most soul destroying sin. It is God who wants us to slow down and not be so quick tempered, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." James 1:19-21. Our lives must not be burdened by the selfishness that is so entwined in anger. Yes selfishness is one of the central cords of anger. Think about it, why are we angry? Yes it maybe for a good justified honorable reason, but in the end, it's because they aren't doing, saying or acting like we expect them to. In all that even if we justify that, anger is not healthy, our actions should not follow our words or thoughts. Harboring anger only destroys the heart and soul.

In our reconciliation we must ask God for forgiveness. Even Jesus in His anger did nothing but express it immediately and explained why He felt that way He did. "So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" John 2:15-16. In today's gospel Jesus is very clear, "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment" v.22. Anger eats away at the heart, may families NOT hold grudges and anger towards one another, instead we must do all we can in God's grace to beg for forgiveness and guidance through these most stressful times.

Today's Challenge: What anger are we harboring right now in our lives? Do we feel a certain bitterness or hatred towards a particular person or group? Today I challenge you to write a letter to that person or group expressing you anger and that you forgive them. Do not mail letter, instead offer up to God, asking Him to help guide you to ask that person for forgiveness.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO