We’re just whipping right through the Seven Deadly Sins here. I understand lust, gluttony, and avarice, I can grasp the subtle nuances of sloth, but wrath… Hmm. God gets wrathful, right? Also, being angry is just sort of a natural thing we cannot control, while a sin has to involve at least some choice, I would think.
Or, in the words of Sesame Street,
I get mad, I get mad, I get mad,
It ain’t bad to get mad.
Except that apparently it is. Thomas Aquinas, a major expert on sin, explains it like this: “A passion of the sensitive appetite is good in so far as it is regulated by reason, whereas it is evil if it set the order of reason aside.” So we’re okay if we’re a bit peeved, but not if we head into the realm of berserker fury?
I felt as though I needed to do a bit more research on this one. I found further elucidation on Catholic education websites. “Wrath, also called anger” they said, “is a consequence of arrogance.”
We’re not talking here about being cheesed off when someone harms us or outraged by injustice. We’re talking about resentment, about hateful thoughts and words and deeds, about hostility and violence, about refusal to listen or forgive.
We’re talking about a decision that we are so much better than others that we can hate them. Perhaps even hurt them.
Yeah, that’s clearly sin.
“Be angry, yet sin not,” the Bible tells us. It is not, then, that the unbidden emotion of anger is itself a sin. It’s the kind of anger that is nurtured and fed by arrogance, the kind that is allowed to develop into wrongdoing.
I’m rarely tempted to anger, but I can certainly see the danger. I suppose violence is committed in that sort of uncontrolled fury.
I’m not sure about this image. It looks kind of happy and cute.