Last Sunday, the 17th, we continued with Bishop Barron’s 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Lively Virtues series with the Anger and Forgiveness episode. Here are some of our notes from the session:
Anger is the unreasonable desire for vengeance. It is irrational and Dante punishes the angry with being inundated with smoke. Anger blocks your sight because you are being unreasonable and cannot think objectively. It blinds and chokes you and blocks communication to the point where you cannot see or talk normally. Peter cuts off the ear of the soldier in anger but Jesus, being the prince of peace admonishes Peter and heals the soldier. Anger cuts us off from people but we are called to forgive as this shows love. God always tries to loosen the chains and untie us. In Matt 18:21, the Bible asks us to forgive 70 times 70 times. Now think about it, how often does God forgive us?
God wants us to know our sins, but will forgive us if we surrender to his forgiving mercy. Forgiveness is God’s way and thus must be our way. Forgiveness is more than saying it with your mouth, it is an active engagement of evil in an attempt to overcome it. Forgiveness is putting yourself in the middle of danger and stopping it. Love your enemies and allow them to exhaust their anger on you, but do not respond in anger, respond in love, thereby taking away the anger.
Forgiveness is the brave removal of anger. You wear down the power of violence and anger by forgiveness. Amidst the Amish schoolhouse violence where a madman entered an Amish school and massacred the school kids, the parents of the murdered kids went to the home of the murderer and immediately forgave the inhumane and violent act. Jesus crucified ended the hatred and violence and He asked God to forgive them before He died for us. Consider the great act of “aikido” – take a concrete step to heal a broken relationship, break the cycle of violence and heal a broken relationship. Respond in forgiving love.
When you are offended, forgive quickly. It helps. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. When Mary was looking for the child Jesus at the temple, and she found him, imagine the multitude of emotions running through her mind amongst which she must have wanted to smack him for putting her through the heartache, but she forgave him and gently spoke to him.