I. St. Placidus was never seen angry. This is saying a great deal in few words; for there is hardly a passion which is so general, and which causes so many sins, as anger. Just wrath is in itself no sin; and we know that the most holy men, even Christ Himself, became incensed. Yet it is sure that we may become guilty of great sin by anger; for example, when we are angry without just cause; when we are incensed at things that ought not to provoke us; when we go too far in our wrath, and, perhaps, utter invectives, curses or even blasphemies; when we carry anger too long in our hearts, and when hatred and enmity proceed from it. In such cases, we become guilty of venial or mortal sin, and at the same time, we may cause others also to commit great sin.
Hence, be very careful that you never become angry without just reason,
that you never be angry at something that ought not to arouse your wrath; that in your anger you never overstep the proper bounds; never utter invectives, curses or blasphemies. Should you, however, have become guilty of sin through anger, try to banish it from your heart. "Every one should be slow to wrath," admonished St. James. (James, i.) "He that is easily stirred up to wrath, shall be more prone to sin," says the Proverb. (Prov. xix.) "Remove anger from thy heart," says the Holy Ghost. (Eccl. xi.) Follow these admonitions; and to be able to follow them, pray daily to God that He would give you the grace to overcome the dangerous passion of anger. God will not refuse your prayer; all will depend on your working with His grace to control yourself. Should you, however, still become guilty of anger, give yourself a penance, pray God to pardon you, and resolve to conquer yourself in future. In this manner, those of the Saints, who were by nature easily provoked, overcame their passion to their great benefit and merit.
II. St. Placidus
endeavored to use every moment to the best advantage. He was never seen idle or unemployed. He recognized the value of time, and the aim and end for which God has bestowed it upon us. Ah! if you only possessed such esteem for time, you would not trifleaway a single moment. "Nothing is more precious than time," writes St. Bernard; but unhappily nothing is less esteemed; the days of our salvation pass, and no one rightly considers the consequences. During a short period, man can gain pardon for his sins and eternal salvation. How valuable, therefore, must time be! None recognize this better than those to whom God gives no more time. "Should any one," says the same holy Doctor, "bring only half an hour of repentance into hell and offer it for sale, the reprobate would give thousands of worlds for it, if they had them!" Thousands of worlds for half an hour! So precious is time.
But consider also, that this precious time which you have is short and irreparable.
It is short. St. Paul writes: "The time is short." (1 Cor. vii.) The holy Job says: "Man lives but a short time. The days of men are short." (Job, xi.) "For behold, short years pass away." (Job, xvi.) Should your life be prolonged to one hundred years, it might yet be said with truth, the time given you is short. "Our life on earth, compared with eternity, is short, though we live ever so long," says St. Jerome. Look at your own life. The years which are past are already gone; they are yours no longer. Whether there is any time for you in the future, you do not know, nor how much of it you may call your own. Only the present time is yours, and that quickly passes; it never stands still; it is short, it is irrevocable. The hours you possessed yesterday have fled, never to return again. With the grace of God, you may be able, if you live long enough, to make good the days you have employed ill, but they themselves will never more return.
All these are truths which no one can deny. How is it possible that you do not weep tears of blood for the loss of so many inestimable hours, days, months and years, which you have not employed to your salvation? How is it possible that you do not make to-day the resolution to employ the time still left you, to the best of your ability? Recall often to memory what I have now told you: time is precious; time is short; time is irrevocable. May it animate you to make good use of it. Perhaps this is the last year, the last month, which God gives you. If you do not employ it well, fear that what St. Bernard said may happen to you: "God cuts short suddenly the time of those sinners who abuse it." Should this happen to you, woe to you for all eternity! Hence, think always of the end, and forget not, that time once lost does not return," says the blessed Thomas a Kempis.
_________________________________ The Sin of Anger
by Johann Evangelist Zollner"Be angry, and sin not.
Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil." St. Paul speaks here, first, of the first motions of ill-will and anger. These motions are involuntary, and it is not in our power to prevent them. But we must keep them within bounds and control them, that they may not degenerate into enmity, hatred or revenge, or break forth in sinful words and actions. When the Apostle says that we must not let the sun go down upon our anger, it is not to be understood that it is lawful to cherish anger and ill-will till evening, but that we ought to suppress our anger immediately, for if one entertains it longer, the devil gains access to the heart and fills it with hatred, enmity and other grievous sins. Hence he says: "Give not place to the devil." St. John the Almoner one day modestly spoke to Nicetus, the governor, against the project of a new tax, very prejudicial to the poor. The governor in a passion left him abruptly. St. John sent him this message towards evening: "The sun is going to set." This admonition had the desired effect on the governor and pierced him to the quick. He arose, went to the partiarch, and bathed in tears, asked his pardon, and by way of atonement promised never more to give ear to informers and talebearers. Do likewise and never keep anger long in your heart. (b) The words of the Apostle, "Be angry, and sin not,"
may be referred to that anger which has its cause in zeal for the honor of God and the salvation of our neighbor, or in love for him who sins. This anger is evidently not sinful, but is just and holy. Such a holy anger or zeal Christ had when he drove out the profaners of the temple. "He cast out all who were selling and buying in the temple; and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves. And he said to them: It is written: "My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves."--Matt. 21: 12, 13. And although our anger may have its origin in a just cause, we must see to it that it does not transgress the bounds of moderation and become sinful. Thus parents sin who are so much enraged at their children's faults, that they break out into curses and blasphemies, and, like madmen, strike their children; so also Christians sin who become so angry at wicked people, that they wish God to take vengeance on them and to damn them forever. Even the most just anger becomes sinful when the desire of revenge, not charity, is at the bottom of it. Do not forget this. Prayer Against AngerO MOST meek Jesus
, Prince of Peace, who, when Thou wast reviled, reviled not, and on the Cross didst pray for Thy murderers: implant in our hearts the virtues of gentleness and patience, that, restraining the fierceness of anger, impatience, and resentment, we may overcome evil with good, for Thy sake love our enemies, and as children of our heavenly Father seek Thy peace and evermore rejoice in Thy love. Amen. http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/