The Bible warns us not to be consumed by anger, but to master it. Anger has many causes and many effects. It can lead us to despair, to unkind words, or even to violence. The cold anger that fuels Pharisaism can exacerbate that prideful tendency to look down on one’s fellowman.
Herein lies the problem: our quest for Truth, righteousness, and love will lead us to anger. How can one not feel anger at bad things done to family and friends or at the decline of one’s country or at the promulgation of lies? The answer cannot be to stop caring. A person who ceases to be connected to life, to those around him, has ceased to meet the social call of our human nature. Even monks participate in a communal life shared with their brethren, be it working on farmland, teaching in a school, serving the sick and destitute, or singing Mass in chapel.
But the world system is what it is. We can strive to limit it by the spread of the Gospel, but the Bible tells us that it is Christ Himself who will destroy the Beast and, by means of the Beast, Babylon. We may lift up our prayers to that end, but we cannot force God’s hand. Patience is required – and strong doses of compassion and humility.
Both of the latter I am increasingly finding difficult. The more one sees of life in all its forms, the more there is to find shocking. The greater the problems seem, the more powerless one feels. We cannot save ourselves, and no “system” can work the transformational change of the human heart that lies with God. Only His Spirit, acting through the Gospel, can change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
Christ called the Spirit the Comforter. It may sound self-indulgent, but perhaps what many of us conservatives need right now is a kind of comfort. Filled with bitterness, regret, and anger at the decay of our homelands, homes, and Christian institutions, we are heartbroken. (I suspect that many amillennialists and postmillennialists are also in shock. They were prepared for a Christian takeover of the world and that has not happened.) We need the comfort and hope that the Spirit provides without losing the fiery zeal that should spur us on to worship God in liturgy and deed.
This perhaps provides a way forward for the chronic weltschmerz felt by so many of us: a vibrant prayer-life – something I myself too often neglect – seeking God’s presence and refreshing so that with peace in our hearts we may continue to love and serve in the midst of destruction and decay, trusting that from these ashes the Phoenix that is Messiah will rise, glorious in His coming Kingdom.
Today is Mrs Proudie’s last post at Archbishop Cranmer. She and her husband are moving on to do God’s work elsewhere with the result that she will not be able to maintain her contribution to the blog. There is also concern that the blog as a whole may have to close down, seemingly for financial reasons.
I think of both anger and hatred as ‘neutral’ dependent on good use and ill use of them. Both, it seems are emotions that either help us recognize what is just or unjust when the aim of them is the actions, deeds or words and the effect on souls who seek the Truth in God. If self-directed then they can be helpful in leading a soul to the virtue of humility and recognizing its own faults. But they can be dangerous and sinful if they lead one to seek revenge on another or on oneself by violent means or by consuming one’s mind and heart. We should pray for ourselves and all souls who do injustice and we must thereby ‘not let the sun set on our anger’. Be slow to anger and quick to forgive is always a good idea.
But hating and injustice and being angry at injustice seems to be a good thing as long as we don’t seek the worst for our enemies and their salvation. Love the sinner and hate the sin.
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Much of what you say here is contained in the old saying, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. Many things anger us, but we need to reflect and pray about them before we react, and then do so in a productive way.
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You mentioned Babylon. What do you think Babylon is? Do you think its a concept or a real country on earth.?
Taken at face value (to the extent such is possible), Revelation 17-18 points to a place. When Isaiah and Jeremiah, who are quoted in Revelation, prophesied about Babylon in their day, they meant the actual city and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, of which it was the capital, headed by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. John may have somewhere else in mind, and indeed it is hard to see how Iraq could ever attain the kind of influence that the Woman has over the Beast.
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The older and arguably wiser I get, the more I come to take the scriptures at face value. 150 yrs ago, evangelists, god fearing men, figured that Israel in the latter days meant some kind of a spiritual Israel, and groups started claiming they were the latter day Israel. Israel has been gone for 2000 yrs and its not coming back, they figured.
Saddam started rebuilding Babylon. When I first got saved and read revelations, I figured Babylon was either America or the demon possessed catholic church. But the catholic church has nothing to export, beside great swelling claims. So I just said to my self to wait on this one, because there are things that are yet to happen. I believe Babylon will rise again. The scriptures say so. I believe its in Daniel or maybe Ezek that the Lord says two women with storks wings pick up some object and bring it to the plains of Shinar, which is where Babylon was or is. Babylon comes back to life.
Its better to believe the gospel than to not believe it. The saved don’t have to worry about it. I believe that the gospel will read like the daily news after the rapture. More souls will come to Christ after the rapture than befor it. There will even be 144,000 jews, males, who become evangelists.
IIRC, in Biblical times, as now, Iraq (known then as Babylon) was basically a part of Iran, which would cast a somewhat different light, perhaps. I’m no authority at all on Revelation.
Terrible news about Mrs. Proudie, although I notice that there is a commenter on several Conservative blogs lately known as Mrs. Proudie of Barchester, so maybe we won’t lose her terrific insights completely. And I note that His Grace’s blog will continue through the first quarter as well, and could certainly use some contributions.
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God is an authority on revelations, and he lets me know whats up because he loves me.
As He does us all, my friend. It’s just something I mostly take on faith. His will, you know.