Choose a topic from Part 2A:

47. The Cause of Anger

1. Anger is always caused by something done to oneself. If we are angered by what is done to others, this is because we imaginatively put ourselves in their place, and consider what is done to them as done to ourselves.

2. The cause of anger is some slight or insult involved in what is done to us. This insult may be one of three kinds: contempt, frustration of our will, and insolence.

3. Thus anger is provoked by what we deem derogatory to our own excellence. If a person actually excels in something - strength, riches, learning, beauty, grace of speech, etc. - he is "touchy" on these subjects, and is easily angered by what slights or contemns them. And if a person is aware of a defect or deficiency in himself, he is already hurt by this realization; his defect is a sore spot in him, and he is easily angered by what touches it unkindly.

4. Unmerited contempt, more than any other slight or insult, arouses anger. Hence deficiency or littleness in the author of an insult increases anger, for we feel that a slight from such a source is doubly unmerited. Thus an accomplished speaker or singer is more quickly and bitterly incensed against an ignoramus offering insult than against an educated and experienced man whose opinion of good speaking or singing has presumably a claim to hearing. But, on the other hand, the littleness of the offender who repents and asks pardon dispels anger more quickly than the formal apology of an offender whose abilities are superior.

"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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