Feelings and Charity


#1

I feel guilty often when I feel dislike or anger towards an obnoxious person.As soon as I have these feelings of dislike, I feel like I’m transparent and that the person I have negative feelings towards, can sense it and that I’ve hurt them and commited an act against charity.when this happens I start to question if I’ve sinned or not.In fact, I have quite a debate about this in my thoughts.
Many times, I avoid conflict at all cost,.especially when dealing with authority figures.I’m afraid I’'ll get angry if they bully me and that even if they sense I’m angry with them, I’ll be in the wrong.I,m afraid that in the heat of the conflict I’ll loose my temper and get in trouble.Unfortunately,in the whirlwind of all this interior emotional conflict,I get gripped with a paralizing fear that I end up agreeing with them,even if i really don’t and most sadly, even in matters that are sinful.What is the catholic approach to such issues.thanks.


#2

We are called to love everyone in the sense that we want what is good for them, and the ultimate good is salvation. But we don’t have to like to be with someone or like what they say or what they stand for. So when we are faced with genuine things about a person that are obnoxious, it is OK not to like that, and when they act out in such a manner, righteous anger may be called for. The question to ask yourself is, "Am I angry because what this person is doing is wrong, or is something else going on?"
When we avoid conflict at all cost, it could indicate that we place too much emphasis on what others think about us, and not enough on what God thinks of us.
Our perfect model is Christ. By reading the Gospels, we see how Christ acts when confronted with people who bully him or are obnoxious, or are authority figures. Often, preferably daily, I would suggest reading the Bible for 10 minutes (you can build this up to a longer period over time) and compare how you deal with things with how Jesus does. Then try to imagine yourself in the situation and make a resolution as to how you will deal with things differently next time.
At night, think back over your day and see how you are doing in this area. Did you handle things more like Jesus this day?
This can be a life-long process to modify how we react to others and to avoid anger when it is inappropriate. Use of the sacrament of Penance gives us graces to keep our temper in check.
So, confront Jesus in the Scriptures, make a resolution to act like him in similar circumstances, and examine ourselves frequently to monitor our progress. Give thanks for progresses made! Stay close to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. This is the recipe for growing in virtue and peace.
A life of holiness is achieved in baby-steps. Don’t get discouraged. It may take a lifetime to become a saint, but that is what you are called to be.
God bless!


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