I was discussing this topic with a friend the other night, and wanted to get your impressions.
I don’t want to ask about what Jonathan Edwards says (so much) in his great Fire and Brimstone sermon entitled ‘Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God’ as I want to ask a much more basic question revolving around his concept of God: does God get angry with us?
We, as Catholics, seem to be at a unique divide. Our churches and our homes are graced by the image of the crucifix – at once an expression of great suffering, but ultimately one of great Love. Our tradition, both theologically and spiritually, bespeaks of many wonderful reflections on the nature of the crucifix and the sacrifice of Calvary, including how Christ’s arms are extended in order to embrace us. And yet, despite all of this, we Catholics are known for our heightened sense of guilt and exacting scrupulosity. We preach that God loves us *so much *that he was willing to die for us, yet we shrink away and fear him when we tell a little white lie or something even more petty.
My pastor doesn’t think that God ever gets angry with us. That makes sense if you *really *think about it. For one, anger is the result of pride and self-love; even a just anger can lack compassion. Plus, his expectations of us are not the high expectations we have for ourselves. He knows that we need him more than we need the breath of life. He knows that we’re bound to sin. What he knows about us is written everywhere – not just in actual texts, but in nature itself.
What do you think? What do you believe? Those are actually two different questions: what you think conceptually about God isn’t always how you react to him based on engrained beliefs.