Anger & Prayer

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Wednesday, Week XXVII, Year I in Ordinary Time, 06 October 2021
Jonah 4:1-11   ><)))*> + ><)))'> + ><)))*>   Luke 11:1-4
Photo by author, Benguet, 2019.

Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry that God did not carry out the evil he threatened against Nineveh. He prayed, “I beseech you, Lord, is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish. And now, Lord, please take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4:1-3
O God, our loving Father!
How I love your prophet Jonah
for many times, I am so like him!
Do I really have a reason 
to be angry with you,
when I knew very well 
how your kindness and mercy
would always prevail over people
I think deserve your wrath and
punishment?  How many times I felt
my judgment better than yours but,
like Jonah, I let your will prevail and then,
I complain.  Have mercy on me, Lord!

“I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.” Then the Lord said, “You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor and which you did not raise; it came up in one night and in one night it perished. And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than and hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?”

Jonah 4:9-11
Now, you can no longer hide from me
your laughter, O God, to my folly of
being angry with you over simple things
I have no total control at all when I refuse
to do something on things I am capable
of affecting and changing for good 
like caring for people and persons 
more important above all. 
Like Jonah, I can see my problem
with anger lies deep within me when
I cannot accept that I am wrong,
that should have listened and followed you.
Teach me to tame my anger,
teach me to pray through your Son
Jesus Christ who taught us to call you
"Father" so I may learn to entrust 
myself to you fully and let go of the
many angers within that drive me to errors.

How lovely it is to contemplate the
sight of you, Lord Jesus at prayer:  so
peaceful and gentle, stable and sure 
in the Father that prompted your disciples
to ask you to teach them how to pray. 

Teach me to pray, loving Jesus,
to cleanse myself of impurities that
drive me to anger and hate so I may be 
filled with your Holy Spirit; like St. Bruno 
who founded the strictest order of
contemplative men - the Carthusians - 
may "I seek God assiduously, 
to find God promptly,
and to possess God fully".  Amen.

Praying to control anger

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 08 March 2021
Monday, Third Week of Lent, Memorial of St. John of God
2 Kings 5:1-15     ><}}}*>  +  <*{{{><     Luke 4:24-30
Photo by author, NLEX in Pampanga, January 2021.

Yesterday in the gospel you were angry, Lord Jesus, when people turned the temple into a marketplace that made you drove them away along with their animals and doves being sold, scattering the coins of money changers who have set up shops in your Father’s house.

Today we find in our readings some people getting angry and we hope to learn some lessons from you regarding this misunderstood emotion in this season of Lent.

First to get angry was King Joram of Israel when he received a letter of recommendation from the Aramean king seeking a cure for Gen. Naaman’s leprosy.

When he read the letter, the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed: “Am I a god with power over life and death, that this man would send someone to me to be cured of leprosy? Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”

2 Kings 5:7

So many times, we burst into anger not really of a present situation before us but of things that happened in the past or worst, things that are mere imaginations or suppositions we have in our minds like King Joram of Israel. Teach us to be open with the present situation before us; make us understand what is being asked of us. Disarm us of our mistrusts and suspicions of others as if people are always seeking a fight with us (when in fact we are the ones who are quarrelsome like the king of Israel).

Then, there was also the famous Syrian general Naaman who got angry when Prophet Elisha did not come out to meet him, feeling being “snubbed” despite his stature:

Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. The prophet sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean. But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the Lord his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy.”

2 Kings 5:9-11

Much ado about nothing! So often we are like Naaman getting angry more because of pride, of expecting so much from others on how we should be treated with importance.

Forgive us for our fits of anger just because we felt not treated with honor, forgetting the more essential things we need in life like healing than massaging our ego. There are times, Lord, we get angry when we do not get what we expect or demand from others. Teach us openness and humility too. Make us learn to be discerning on the more essential things in life like you, O Lord, the one who truly heals and blesses us!

And lastly, in the gospel we find the people getting angry with you, dear Jesus because you spoke the truth.

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.

Luke 4:28-29
Photo from wikipediacommons.org.

Anger is an emotion that must be released positively like with what you did at the cleansing of the temple, Jesus.

Most of the time, the devil rides on our anger to lead us into sin, even to grave sins like murder or slander because we are “hurt” by truth like those people listening to you at the synagogue. They could not handle the hard truth about their pride and bloated egos that they wanted to kill you after telling them of their lack of faith in God.

Help us get to the roots of our anger, to accept who we are so we may not be overcome by anger and thereby not sin that much anymore.

Let us control our anger and not let anger control us. Amen.

The golden calves among us

40 Shades of Lent, Thursday, Week IV, 26 March 2020

Exodus 32:7-14 ><)))*> +++ <*(((>< John 5:31-47

Illustration from Chabad.org.

Like you, O God in the first reading today, we are all angry. We are so mad with our so-called leaders and officials in government. We are angry at their arrogance and total disregard of others especially in this time of global crisis due to COVID-19.

Like you, O God, we also seeth with anger when you at Sinai saw how the Israelites created a golden calf to worship, after you have brought them out from Egypt. We admit our sinfulness and guilt before you in having our own we golden calves like power, money, and fame among many others.

But what we are so mad, O God, is how these leaders and officials in government – whether elected or appointed – have made themselves the golden calves to be served and worshipped by everyone.

They are the golden calves themselves who have brought shame and dishonor to our nation.

They do exactly what your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ had taught us that whoever wants to be great must be the least and servant of all.

But they are certainly not. They have shamelessly acted foolish and selfish since this pandemic started.

Forgive us, too, merciful Father, for our many sins, for being deluded by these many other golden calves in our midst, in the government.

The words of your Son Jesus Christ today are so true:

“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.”

John 5:41-43

Like you, O God, we are angry at them, at how things are going on.

But like you, O God, let us relent in wishing ill for these misguided leaders whom your misguided people have put in power too.

Like you, O God, let us temper with mercy and charity our feelings and emotions against them.

Most of all, make us truly wiser in the next elections! Amen.

The grudges that fester within us

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Thursday, Passion of John the Baptist, 29 August 2019

Jeremiah 1:17-19 ><}}}*> ><}}}*> ><}}}*> Mark 6:17-29

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, O Lord, I pray for my hardening heart. I have a festering anger deep in my heart against some people who have hurt me. And I am harboring a grudge against them like Herodias, the mistress of Herod.

Herodias harbored a grudge against John the Baptist and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for is courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”

Mark 6:19, 21-22, 24

What is so shameful, O Lord, like Herodias, I want to have the heads of those people. I want to get even with the pains they have inflicted against me. I want revenge.

But more shameful, Lord Jesus, is, unlike Herodias, I have not done anything wrong against these people. And no amount of pain can justify my grudge, my anger, my hatred against them.

This is what makes it more painful with me: the festering anger in my heart is slowly poisoning my soul, my very being.

Teach me, Jesus, to bear all pains like John the Baptist, suffering for you, suffering with you.

Give me the courage and strength to “gird my loin” as you told the Prophet Jeremiah so I may be able to control myself and be on guard against becoming like Herodias or, worst, Herod, who beheaded John in prison.

Let me rise above my instincts and feelings to be not like the evil doers and fake people who fight and malign me because you have assured me that they will never prevail over me, that you will deliver me for you are always with me. Amen.

“The Severed Head of John the Baptist”, a sculpture by the French artist Auguste Rodin in 1875. This is probably a representation of a guillotined criminal’s head during that time. From Google.