Choose a topic from Part 2A:

46. Anger

1. Anger is a passion which tends to strike back at evil,to inflict punishment or to have revenge upon the cause of the evil.

2. Anger can be aroused by other passions, and even by passions that stand opposed to one another, as, for instance, by sorrow and by hope. Anger has thus a kind of contrariety in itself, and has no contrary passion outside itself; anger is the only passion that is not paired off with an opposite. Anger wants satisfaction (a good) by striking back at what afflicts or disturbs or deters (that is, at an evil). Thus anger has a sort of dual object, including both good and evil.

3. Anger belongs to the irascible appetites; indeed it gives its name to the whole irascible order, for ira is Latin for anger, and irasci means to be angry. All the other irascible passions tend to turn into anger; hope, despair; fear, daring.

4. When anger rises from the sensitive part of man into the intellective part, it becomes an actual passion of the soul. Such a passion is aroused when the intellect judges that something is to be resented, or that a person inflicting an injury is to be punished. The will backs up this judgment of intellect. And this type of anger is therefore said to require an act of reason (intellect and will).

5. Indeed, in man, anger more consistently follows an act of reason than does desire. Therefore anger may be called more natural to man than desire is.

6. Anger may be more intense than hatred, but it is not so enduring, nor is it so grievous a thing in a person. St. Augustine views anger as the mote and hatred as the beam in the passionate conduct of a man.

7. Anger in man involves some aspect of justice and injustice. The harmful thing which arouses anger is understood as an injustice to the person who suffers it; the person suffering is stirred to mete out justice.

8. Anger is of three types: wrath, ill will, and rancor.Wrath is the angry outburst. Ill will is the continuing effect of the outburst. Rancor is the determination of the angry person to have revenge or to inflict deserved punishment.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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