Archpriest Victor Potapov on Anger
“Suppressed anger” is but a first step, the stage at which we are learning not to allow our anger to come to the surface. This must be followed by another step, at which one begins to work on his heart and to place not only his outward behavior but also his internal movement before the judgment [described in] the Gospels. If anger enters into your heart, remember Christ, Who was nailed to the Cross, and Who yet prayed for those torturing Him. Remember how the Saints, who in their lives experienced things utterly and incomparably more horrible, more tragic, than anything happening to us, nonetheless endured it with humility and love. Remember St. John Chrysostom, who was removed from his Episcopal throne, exiled, beaten by his guards, and starved to the point of utter exhaustion. As he, abandoned and betrayed by everyone, was dying, he said, “Glory to God for all things.” Many similar examples could be cited. We should bring them to mind whenever we are about to burst out in anger over some minor provocation –e.g. when we are served soup that is not hot enough, when someone is late for an appointment with us, or when a poorly worded document is presented for our signature.
One other point: It often happens that while you are irritated by one source, you pour out [our anger] upon someone else, for an entirely different reason. For example, you are late for your bus: its doors slam shut in your face, and a passing car splashes you with mud. When you get to work, you find it quite easy to take out your anger on your co-workers. After all, the bus and the car are gone, the things that provoked your anger are no longer there, but your co-workers are. The car has driven away, but the person is still there next to you; you can find yourself engaging in an extended battle with someone over the most trivial thing, a war that can last for years. No external factors should control us to the extent that they become a basis for anger or irritation.”
– Interview, pravoslavie.ru
***Now and then we include a particularly thought provoking or inspiring excerpt not from one of our regular ‘Elders’***