Sunday, January 28, 2007

We read in 1 Corinthians 13 that: "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (v. 4-7).

Now there are those within the Church who would interpret this Scripture in such a way as to discourage any and all forceful defense of the Church and her perennial teaching. For such people, anger is always wrong. It is always sinful. But in so doing, these confused souls accuse Christ of sin:

"Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, 'Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a market-place.'" (John 2: 13-16).

It is important for us to remember that not only may we sin by being angry when we should not, we may sin by not being angry when we should be. To the Pharisees, Jesus was being "rude" and they demanded a sign to know by what right He drove the merchants and money-changers out of the Temple. And he provided them with one. Not that they would understand His words.

If my reason tells me that it is right in a particular set of circumstances to be angry, then I disobey God when I refuse to give place to wrath. We are reminded in Ephesians 4:26 that it is possible to "be angry and sin not." In fact, for the vast majority of us, the fault is not that we are too angry, but that we are not angry enough. Contemplate for a moment all of the evils which are found in the world and which are known to all and admitted to exist in the media. Would these evils have survived for so long if people of good will had shown the indignant anger of Christ in the Temple?

Is it not our own hypocrisy, our own fear of being misunderstood by others, which motivates us to remain silent? We have got to understand that anger is itself neither evil nor good and it can be either. This is where the Cardinal Virtue of Prudence comes into play. An effeminate "Christianity" (rooted in the cult of softness) which condemns all anger as being in opposition to love as defined by the Holy Spirit through St. Paul, does a tremendous disservice to the Church and society in general.

Paul Anthony Melanson


Anonymous said...

Powerful Paul!!! I much prefer a muscular Christianity - with its accurate Jesus of the Gospels - to an effeminized one which portrays Jesus as some sort of moronic hippy who walked around saying "peace, love" and made no demands upon his listeners.

Jesus threatened His listeners with Hell if they didn't repent and accept His message. How so many "Catholics" try to forget that fact!

Anonymous said...

Paul, I know that for years you have been faithful to "telling it like it is." And for years, you have been insulted, villified and have had your life threatened on several occasions.

You remain in my prayers. Always. May our Lord bless you.

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