How does one let go of wrath?

Hi all. The title pretty much sums up my question. I had a psychiatrist tell me once the answer is to forgive, but how does one do that beyond words?

I’ve posted on here before about being angry over the teachings of he reformation. I also get angry at myself due to an undercurrent of perfectionism. This has led in the past to tearing down what I was building so to speak and I want to avoid a repeat occurrence. How does one practice and grow humility?

For the proud, humility is like a heavily armed guard who keeps a constant eye on the prison cell door. But for the righteous, humility is like the liberator who frees the helpless slave from the evil of his or her wicked master.

So how do I become and grow humble? Just prayer or something?

It’s an individual thing, but I lost all my pride, which was key. Also, as I grew in holiness I began to see just how puny our innate wit is, and this promoted humility in me.

For many, forgiveness is a difficult virtue to master. When we learn the power and wisdom of forgiveness, we are bound to have reached an advanced level of spiritual maturity. Regardless the nature of any possible abuse that we may have endured, nor the severity of that abuse, full recovery from abuse cannot be achieved until we truly forgive our abuser(s). Any anger or resentment we hold within us, live and thrive within us, and become a part of our very self. We will never rid ourselves of this anger and resentment until we experience true forgiveness towards all. Seeing our tormentors suffer a thousand times over will only add to our own misery.

On the other hand, to endure unnecessary torment and misery is never righteous, but a perversion.  Also, the righteousness of forgiveness should never involve our condoning abuse or any other forms of evil.

True forgiveness requires our valuing peace and love above all else.  Experiencing forgiveness towards those who have wronged us resembles perfect love more so than perhaps any other human experience.  Forgiveness involves recognizing and valuing the potential for love that exists within every human soul, including our own soul.  Sins cannot be completely forgiven until we forgive, and find an inner peace with, everyone who has ever wronged us;  for every ounce of anger and resentment that we hold against any other(s), there will surely exist an ounce of sin held against us -- for harboring anger and resentment within our self is sin.

The Golden Rule states, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"  Our forgiving everyone, especially those we consider our enemies or adversaries, is to demonstrate to God that we are worthy of His forgiveness.  Likewise, to find love for all our enemies and adversaries is to demonstrate to God that we have suffered long enough with our hatred, and we are ready to receive His love.

Again, to experience the true power and wisdom contained within the virtue of forgiveness is to develop great spiritual growth!

I would recommend being compassive. Remember that only God is perfect. We all make a lot of mistakes. Only God judges. Acknowledge the mistakes, but don’t be so hard with yourself or others.

On perfectionism, I think you might like to read what Pope Francis said about triumphalism, normality and perseverance:

While we live on this earth, our forgiveness will always be imperfect. What I have found to be very helpful is to pray for anyone that has either hurt me, or that for some reason I dislike. It is very difficult to continue to be angry and unforgiving with someone we’re praying for.

Mediate on the crucifixion of JESUS. Hold a crucifix in your hands and gaze upon HIS BODY nailed to the cross and think about how HE, the SON OF GOD allowed HIMSELF to be humbled and tortured and still from the cross HE forgave those who harmed HIM.

GOD who is perfection, is our model in humility when we see HIM on the crucifix.

You don’t necessarily have to get rid of every kind of wrath. There is such a thing as “righteous indignation”. Love for those wronged will move you to that. You should be “angry” that way over the teachings of the reformation. That would be being angry at sin and not the sinner. Now, that’s what God does, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t reproduce it by your efforts. Nevertheless, God calls you to that: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
So the challenge you have is getting to not being angry at the sinner (be it yourself or someone else). You probably do that, because you don’t know yourself. There are ways to handle that. The Word of God could enlighten you, for example. Do some “lectio divina”. Make an examination of conscience every day. Ask the persons closest to you for a list of your sins. If they are willing, they usually do a pretty accurate job. Just don’t get angry at them for it…:smiley:

this is something you have to learn for yourself, the hard way, the way everyone else learns.

sometimes life is totally unfair and there’s nothing you can do about it. sometime in your life a friend or girfriend or business partner will betray you, you’ll get robbed, the IRS will audit you or your dog will die and you’ll be angry. but the girl won’t come back, the IRS will have its blood etc. so eventually you’ll learn that you either let anger go as a matter of self preservation or it will fester and own you. forgiving is a way to not get owned by your anger.

here’s the other part of the deal. your real friends will help you over the rough spots in life, but they’ll also abandon you if you can’t let go of the anger because that gets old fast.


My Spiritual Director says that most unhappiness in life is related to our inability to control something. Analyze what you are trying to control. See if there are elements that you can control and focus on those areas.

I had terrible anger over Obama, the election, the media, etc. I couldn’t type his name without fury shooting through my body. It was literally almost uncontrollable rage. So I really analyzed my anger and understood there was nothing I could do about the election (except pray our country will survive). Further I could control my interaction with Obama…such as by avoiding news programs or other areas of contact. This has helped me a great deal. So I might suggest taking these same steps and drilling down to the elements causing your anger over which you can exercise some control.

As to the others, “Let go and let God…” turn this over to Him.




I found this thread googling something about giving up resentment or wrath and I came across this thread. These are the truest words I’ve seen in quite a while, it took me to the absolute pit of anger and resentment, before I realized through the grace of god what you’re talking about here. I still struggle… a lot… with remembering and living up to the realizations you talk about, but I just wanted to say I really liked this post, and it helped give some clarity to my day.

Your internal disposition affects your external actions, and your external actions affect your internal disposition. The second part is important.

Suppose you say something rude to your mother. You know that what you did is wrong, but you don’t feel moved to say “Sorry”. Say “sorry” anyway, not because you have a fuzzy feeling that compels you to do it, but because you know it’s the right thing to do.

Suppose you are in a mood where you have no desire whatsoever to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Say a pray of thanksgiving to God. Not because you feel stirred to give such a prayer, but because you know it’s a good & fitting thing to do.

Suppose you commit to saying the Rosary once a day, but you don’t feel moved to do it. Do it anyway. Not because you feel like doing it, but because you know it’s a good & fitting thing to do.

Suppose you have an anger towards someone. An anger that makes your blood pressure rise and your nails hungry for flesh. Say in your heart “I love you” to this person, not because you feel swayed to do it, but because you know it’s the right thing to do.

If you take sand paper and rub against the grains on a coarse plank of wood, and continue to sand it against the grain, eventually, the wood will become smooth. This is an endeavor that involves a lifetime commitment. The more you do it, the more habituated it will become for you. Keeping a journal with frequent examinations of conscious is very valuable towards this goal. Gradually, slowly, painfully, assuredly, your external actions will affect your interior disposition more and more.

We must detest all heresy; it is natural and good to feel angry about heresy. But getting angry at yourself for falling short in some respect can be counterproductive; it is better to calmly work on a plan that will enable you to keep from committing the same mistake. I did not read your post the right way my first time around. After rereading it I see that you are not wrong to get angry over heresy, and see that you need to work on being gentler with yourself without being soft. God bless you.

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