Jesus warned against lust, adulterous emotion, as the inner equivalent of adultery, which violates the truth and high reality of marriage and family as understood on high. He warned against anger as he deepened the commandment forbidding murder, which violates the truth of the brotherhood of man, each person created in the image of God, each person infinitely loved, each person invited into the way of life.
Anger, as a brief, instinctive, immediate emotional reaction to an outrage, must be distinguished from anger as deliberately nourished in the human heart, as acted upon in thought and word, even if not in deed. Serious anger gets in the soul. Anger poisons the nervous system. Anger tinges relationships with everyone, not just with its target. Anger blocks the ministry of the spirit.
Some people say that Jesus got angry when he revolted against the commercializing and sacrificial system in the temple by liberating the sacrificial animals and overturning the tables of the money changers. I say that he acted not in anger but from righteous indignation. His act was ethically elegant: no person was injured, no property destroyed, no money stolen. Anger cannot come close to that superb performance.
A couple days ago, during communion time, I was struck by an uncharacteristically clear thought of concern for a person. It was deep concern, concern for the soul. I knew I had to act on it, to communicate concern to the other person; a shadow of fear came through my mind, because I was risking the status quo of my relationship with the person by expressing this concern. I prayed about it, and found a way (not an excellent way, as it turned out, but a clear way) to voice my concern. And I was freshly empowered to do so.
Earlier the same morning, in the prior phase of communion, I had been flooded with an experience of God’s love at a higher intensity and for a greater duration than ever before. I now know and understand that love can criticize without injecting poison. I knew that the Father’s critique is surgical, cleansing, never leaves us feeling bad about ourselves. I now know in greater measure the fullness of his love.
The previous night I had been reading about love, pondering, pondering, thinking of the path of truth, beauty, and goodness as a path to love, thinking of how I had focused so much on the path that I had not nourished myself in the goal, a goal which I have long known perfectly well to be available to anyone at any stage along that path or any other spiritual path.
The previous week I had been thinking of my duty to expose sophistry; I had felt conflicted about criticizing persons I am learning to love. I realize now that there was anger in me, subterranean anger, anger that I would occasionally feel but never took seriously. Now I know the power of love to dissolve and transform anger and fear, to empower, to en-courage, to laugh, to liberate, to let joy and spontaneity loose. Thus one human life takes one step closer.
Love sees destiny, helps create destiny, springs from the Source of destiny.
Why do the great realizations take so long to arrive? Because we have not yet achieved the alignment which makes us receptive to what our Father is ready to give us.
Happy aligning! Happy realizing! Happy taking time to receive the Father’s love!