Wrath & Extreme Anger

So, I was on a walking tour of New York City for a course I’m taking. The tour guide was a five foot tall 60 year old gay Jewish Democrat, and at one point he was going on about the economic conditions in America and this and that and the other thing. He took the opportunity to mention how the new Pope was good on economics, but still wrong on sex or something to that effect. My professor mentioned that the last Pope was good on economics too. The tour guide claimed that the last Pope was “so twisted”.

At this point, I was unimpressed by his theological acumen, but mostly apathetic, as how am I to expect a 60 year old gay Jewish Democrat to think that highly of the Pope.

Of course, he then proceeded to make some obscene remark about the Pope’s boyfriend being behind it. At this point, I became enraged, and thought that if it weren’t for the whole five foot tall 60 year old gay business, I would punch him in the face. My rage continued on similar lines for a matter of seconds, before I realized what I was thinking calmed down and got a hold of myself.

My question now, for all of you, is was this grave matter, and is my thought pattern consistent with deliberate consent (I say this because no one can truly know if you’ve deliberately consented).

Now, I lean towards this being grave matter, but I’m truthfully unsure if I gave deliberate consent. There’s also the issue of full knowledge, since I’m here asking this question. I did, in the interest of full disclosure, try to go to Confession today, only to find no one was there or that it may have been cancelled thanks to a change in Mass times (long story).

Finally, am I allowed to receive Communion tomorrow in this state?

It doesn’t really sounds like you gave it deliberate consent. It sounds like it was a sudden swelling of anger caused by being confronted with shocking, lewd speech. That’s a natural reaction.

But you didn’t let it get the better of you.

I agree. As soon as you realized what was going on, you managed to calm yourself down. That’s a good thing. :thumbsup:

It doesn’t sound like a grave matter to me. All you did was felt angry. You didn’t react at all as far as I can tell. You could have said any number of things to remind the guy that you were paying for a good trip of New York and not to hear your faith insulted. People who talk like that usually only do it when they think they have an audience that will support them. Especially if their livelyhood depends on tipping.

Seems to me you exhibited great restraint. Good for you, I can only pray that I would react with such spiritual resolve.God bless you.

I would have been enraged too.:mad:

It sounds like you handled it well, though. :thumbsup:

Feelings are neither moral are immoral. They just are. How you act on them is.

You can’t sin by accident. You can’t sin by mistake. If you have to ask, “Was this a sin?” it likely wasn’t.

The only reason people like your tour guide say such things is because no one ever calls them on it. I learned this a long time ago, and I becaue notorious in college=over 50 years ago when I would tell certain of my professors who made anti-catholic remarks in class that I objected to their predjudice and that if they continued I would take it up with not only the chairman of the department, but with the Dean of Faculty while I was accompanied by an attorney. Later, I would talk to them privately to insure they would not lessen my grades in their classes.
That only happened to me a couple of times, and afterwards I only had a problem with one professor who would not let me attend his classes. He was suspended for that!
So, have the intestinal fortitude to face down these people. Most of them are bullies or wannabe bullies anyway. It might just earn you another star in your golden crown when you get to heaven.


Bearing wrongs patiently is a meritorious act.

Good for you!:thumbsup:

I agree that we have to stand up to bullies, but I feel I should add, it doesn’t always have a happy, victorious ending. Often there are negative consequences when someone stands up for what is right. This is part of carrying our cross. I believe God will take care of us in the end.

I recommend that you read the truly great book ‘Introduction to Devout Life’, by st Francis of Sales. In it he gives excellent spiritual advices to ‘Philotea’ which means: ‘friend of God’. For example:

"Therefore, let us not be disturbed by our imperfections, because our perfection consists in fighting them. And we cannot fight them unless we see them, nor can we overcome them if we do not come across them. Our victory is not in not being aware of them but in not consenting to them. And to be bothered by them is not the same as consenting to them. "

It has a chapter dedicated to explain the difference between having a temptation and yielding to it. I copy here a small part:


“Imagine, Philothea, a young princess who is very dearly loved by her husband. Some wicked man to seduce her and commit adultery with her sends a dishonourable messenger to arrange with her his disgraceful proposal. First of all, this messenger conveys to the princess his master’s aim. Secondly, the princess is pleased or displeased with the proposal. Thirdly, she either accepts or refuses. In the same way, Satan, the world and the flesh, seeing a person espoused to the Son of God, send suggestions and temptations by which: i) sin is proposed; ii) the person is pleased or displeased with the suggestion iii) the person either consents or refuses. These are the three steps which lead down to sin: temptation, delight and consent. These three acts which can be clearly seen in great and serious sins are not easily discernible in all other sorts of sins.
Even if temptation to any sin should last all our life, it cannot make us displeasing to God as long as we do not take pleasure in it and do not yield to it. For in temptation we are not active but we bear it. And as long as we take no pleasure in it we cannot be guilty. St. Paul endured temptations of the flesh for long. He was far from being displeasing to God. Instead God was glorified by them. (2 Cor. 12:7,9).”

As you see, if a sinful thought crosses your mind but you get rid of it immediately, you have not sinned, since you did not allowed that thought to remain.

In your case, if you had given any consideration to what the thought suggested (for example punching tha guy in the nose), and you had delighted imagining what would have happened to him (for example you had pictured him tumbling down, crying and bleeding) and you had lingered in that thought enjoying the detalis, then you would have sinned.
And of course, if you had actually punched him in the nose, you would also have sinned.

But since that is not the case, it does not seem that you sinned because as soon as the thought of punching the guy came to your mind, you rejected it.

With God’s grace you managed to have self control, so as someone said: good for you!

And also, as you did not have the intention of sinning, you did not commit any grave sin that may make you abstain from receiving Communion (remember one of the conditions for a grave sin is to be willing to commit it).

You may be suffering from a case of scruples, which st Francis of Sales also addreses beautifully in his book. Read it, I’m sure you’ll profit greatly spiritually from it.

You can read it for free here: philothea.de/devout-english.html

God bless,


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