What is Anger and Why is it a Sin?

Anger in the Workplace:
What is Anger and Why is it a Capital, or "Deadly" Sin?

If someone slapped you, you'd feel pain, and at the same time probably anger, too. Is this justified anger, or is all anger a "deadly" sin? Is anger ever okay?

When anger bubbles up in response to pain, it's not a sin. Experiencing the involuntary immediate sensation of anger in response to physical or emotional pain is not a sin.

What is a sin, however, is what sometimes happens next. Reacting with hostility, such as swearing, yelling, or hitting the person who hurt you - that is a sin. And plotting revenge against the one who hurt you is an especially grave sin.

The Seventh Deadly Sin
Anger is the seventh in a series of Seven Deadly Sins. Their name describes the severity of these sins; mortal sins kill the grace within a soul and jeopardize its chance of entering heaven.

What Are Mortal Sins?
In order for a sin to be mortal, it must concern grave subject matter and be chosen through the sinner's free will. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, mortal sin "destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from Goda

What is Anger?
Anger has many forms, so it's a tricky sort of sin. Resentment is anger. Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of anger too. Refusing to express gratitude or celebrate goodness in the world is anger. Acting out feelings of envy is anger. Although anger sometimes looks like a red-faced shouting, stomping tantrum, it is frequently subtle and harbored in secret.

Why is Anger a Mortal Sin?
Anger is a serious sin because it leads to committing other serious sins. People cheat, lie, steal, and kill out of anger. You may not have control over the things other people do which anger you, but you do have control over what you do when you are angered.

It is not a sin to feel anger and then let it go; it is a sin to act out on it or to hold onto it. Getting revenge, holding a grudge and refusing to forgive are sins which are all born of anger. These seemingly little acts of anger grow up to be big acts of anger which have the potential to hurt many, including oneself.

Is Anger Always a Sin?
If someone robs you, it's okay to be indignant and upset. It's okay to wish that the thief will get caught, that your stolen property will be returned to you, and that justice will be served. It's not okay to plot revenge, wish to watch the thief suffer, or hope the thief gets an unjustly harsh punishment. Wanting justice is not a sin; wanting revenge is.

How to Overcome Anger
Anger can be overcome with the virtues of patience and self-control. Patience fortifies believers with the strength to endure wrongs against them without harboring destructive feelings and thoughts. Patience allows an opportunity to cool off, and calm down.

Self-control is not only a virtue, but also a valuable discipline which is the key to overcoming the sin of anger. Practicing self-control also strengthens faith, endurance, and moral fiber; it is a discipline highly recommended by the Catholic Church. Overcoming anger is the key to reducing stress, strengthening healthy relationships, and improving the quality of everyday, as well as spiritual, life.

Source: Francine Morrisette


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