Saturday, 10 December 2005

Combating the Passion of Anger 5 — Anger in the Monastery

It can be seen from the foregoing posts that anger is a very important issue in the daily life of the monastery: the monks must aim for meekness so that they can pursue a life of uninterrupted prayer, normally the Jesus Prayer. This means that novices must be taught not to argue but to give way. They must be taught to maintain their peace with a genuine humble and uncondescending charity in the face of bad or irregular behaviour on the part of others. They must be taught to control themselves, especially in the face of frustration. This is the case whether it is inanimate objects, animals or other people that are frustrating them. This is training: we must learn to behave in certain ways, first by an act of the will, then by habit and finally, when our passions are purified, by an habitual act of charity.

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