Would impatience (without fits of rage) count as a form of the sin of wrath?


Wrath is often associated with a (physically) violent person who goes around hitting people for a minor (joking) insult or throwing items around out after learning of bad news.

However since patience is considered the opposite virtue of wrath, would that mean wrath does not always involve physical violence (or violence of any kind period)?

Would someone who habitually gives up at goals or tasks rather quickly because he lacks the patience and drive to go on accurately be described as a wrathful person? Would someone who decides to skip lunch merely because the cafeteria line is taking a bit too long be exhibiting elements of wrath?


I can’t give a definitive answer but I do know that my internal irrational rages and bouts of anger are sins. They are sins because even though I don’t hit people or scream, they are separating me from God and also from the Church. The separation from the Church (and the community of the whole world) is because I am not loving my neighbor. I take these things to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (repeatedly) because for me they are a serious impediment for spiritual growth and allowing God to stay in my life.

Habitually giving up tasks through lack of patience seems to me to be a failing but I cannot connect it to wrath. If we cannot stick at something is it because we are inpatient or just lazy? Habitually giving up good or necessary tasks and goals is a lack of discipline and that indiscipline could lead us into sin, For example by not bothering to attend mass or receive the sacrament of reconciliation simply because there is a queue or someone is taking longer than you judge to be appropriate etc. (how satan would love that). Choosing to skip lunch rather than queue gives you a choice go hungry or take a packed lunch in future (by the way, not making a packed lunch isn’t down to impatience but laziness)

Instead of instantly reacting in anger, patience helps us to pause and move beyond the emotion to consider the matter more deeply. Patience helps bring reason and love. For example, I hired a builder to do a 3 day job, he turns up on day 1, two hours later he has vanished and Day 2 no builder turned up. After boiling with rage, I calm down sufficiently to greet him kindly on Day 3 and learn the reason for his absences - severe family emergencies (more than I could imagine anyone bearing), so I have a choice and I chose the hard path - following Christ. Three months later he finally finished the work and I had a long (and probably needed) exercise in patience. Given that my house is full of religious items, I also had to discipline myself to show him that I was trying to live my faith.

Just my thoughts on the subject.


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