OF THE SPIRIT OF ANGER.
How our fourth conflict is against the sin of anger,
and how many evils this passion produces.
IN our fourth combat the deadly poison of anger has to be utterly rooted
out from the inmost corners of our soul. For as long as this remains
in our hearts, and blinds with its hurtful darkness the eye of the soul,
we can neither acquire right judgment and discretion, nor gain the insight
which springs from an honest gaze, or ripeness of counsel, nor can we be
partakers of life, or retentive of righteousness, or even have the capacity
for spiritual and true light: "for," says one, "mine eye is disturbed by
reason of anger." Nor can we become partakers of wisdom, even
though we are considered wise by universal consent, for "anger rests in
the bosom of fools." Nor can we even attain immortal life, although
we are accounted prudent in the opinion of everybody, for "anger destroys
even the prudent." Nor shall we be able with clear judgment of heart
to secure the controlling power of righteousness, even though we are reckoned
perfect and holy in the estimation of all men, for "the wrath of man worketh
not the righteousness of God." Nor can we by any possibility acquire
that esteem and honour which is so frequently seen even in worldlings,
even though we are thought noble and honourable through the privileges
of birth, because "an angry man is dishonoured." Nor again can
we secure any ripeness of counsel, even though we appear to be weighty,
and endowed with the utmost knowledge; because "an angry man acts without
counsel." Nor can we be free from dangerous disturbances, nor
be without sin, even though no sort of disturbances be brought upon us
by others; because "a passionate man engenders quarrels, but an angry man
digs up sins."
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 1
1. Ps. 30 :10. 2. Eccl. 7:10 [LXX].
3. Prov. 15:1 [LXX]. 4. S. James 1:20.
5. Prov. 11:25 [LXX]. 6. Prov. 14:17 [LXX].
7. Prov. 29:22 [LXX]. Aner thymodes egeirei neikos, aner de orgilos
exoruxen hamartian. The old Latin as given by Sabatier has "Vir animosus
parat zixas: vir autem iracundus effodit peccata." The verse is quoted
by Gregory the Great in a passage which seems a reminiscence of Cassian's
words, with the reading effundit for effodit (Moral. V. xxxi.). Jerome's
rendering in the Vulgate is quite different: "Vir iracundus provocat zixas:
et qui ad indignandum facilis est erit ad peccandum proclivior."
CHAPTER II. Of those who
say that anger is not injurious, if we are angry with those
who do wrong, since God Himself is said to be angry.
WE have heard some people trying to excuse this most pernicious disease
of the soul, in such a way as to endeavour to extenuate it by a rather
shocking way of interpreting Scripture: as they say that it is not injurious
if we are angry with the brethren who do wrong, since, say they, God Himself
is said to rage and to be angry with those who either will not know Him,
or, knowing Him, spurn Him, as here: "And the anger of the Lord was kindled
against His people;" or where the prophet prays and says, "O Lord, rebuke
me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy displeasure;" not understanding
that, while they want to open to men an excuse for a most pestilent sin,
they are ascribing to the Divine Infinity and Fountain of all purity a
taint of human passion.
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 2:
1. Ps. 105 :40. 2. Ps. 6:2.
CHAPTER III. Of those things
which are spoken of God anthropomorphically.
FOR if when these things are said of God they are to be understood literally
in a material gross signification, then also He sleeps, as it is said,
"Arise, wherefore sleepest thou, O Lord?" though it is elsewhere said
of Him: "Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."
And He stands and sits, since He says, "Heaven is my seat, and earth the
footstool for my feet:" though He "measure out the heaven with his hand,
and holdeth the earth in his fist." And He is "drunken with wine"
as it is said, "The Lord awoke like a sleeper, a mighty man, drunken with
wine;" He "who only hath immortality and dwelleth in the light
which no man can approach unto:" not to say anything of the "ignorance"
and "forgetfulness," of which we often find mention in Holy Scripture:
nor lastly of the outline of His limbs, which are spoken of as arranged
and ordered like a man's; e.g., the hair, head, nostrils, eyes, face, hands,
arms, fingers, belly, and feet: if we are willing to take all of which
according to the bare literal sense, we must think of God as in fashion
with the outline of limbs, and a bodily form; which indeed is shocking
even to speak of, and must be far from our thoughts.
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 3:
1. Ps. 43 :23. 2. Ps. 120 :4.
3. Isa. 46:1. 4. Isa. 40:12.
5. Ps. 77 :65. 6. 1 Tim. 6:16.
CHAPTER IV. In what
sense we should understand the passions and human arts
which are ascribed to the unchanging and incorporeal God.
AND so as without horrible profanity these things cannot be understood
literally of Him who is declared by the authority of Holy Scripture to
be invisible, ineffable, incomprehensible, inestimable, simple, and uncompounded,
so neither can the passion of anger and wrath be attributed to that unchangeable
nature without fearful blasphemy. For we ought to see that the limbs
signify the divine powers and boundless operations of God, which can only
be represented to us by the familiar expression of limbs: by the mouth
we should understand that His utterances are meant, which are of His mercy
continually poured into the secret senses of the soul, or which He spoke
among our fathers and the prophets: by the eyes we can understand the boundless
character of His sight with which He sees and looks through all things,
and so nothing is hidden from Him of what is done or can be done by us,
or even thought. By the expression "hands," we understand His providence
and work, by which He is the creator and author of all things; the arms
are the emblems of His might and government, with which He upholds, rules
and controls all things. And not to speak of other things, what else
does the hoary hair of His head signify but the eternity and perpetuity
of Deity, through which He is without any beginning, and before all times,
and excels all creatures? So then also when we read of the anger
or fury of the Lord, we should take it not anthropopathos; i.e., according
to an unworthy meaning of human passion, but in a sense worthy of God,
who is free from all passion; so that by this we should understand that
He is the judge and avenger of all the unjust things which are done in
this world; and by reason of these terms and their meaning we should dread
Him as the terrible rewarder of our deeds, and fear to do anything against
His will. For human nature is wont to fear those whom it knows to
be indignant, and is afraid of offending: as in the case of some most just
judges, avenging wrath is usually feared by those who are tormented by
some accusation of their conscience; not indeed that this passion exists
in the minds of those who are going to judge with perfect equity, but that,
while they so fear, the disposition of the judge towards them is that which
is the precursor of a just and impartial execution of the law. And
this, with whatever kindness and gentleness it may be conducted, is deemed
by those who are justly to be punished to be the most savage wrath and
vehement anger. It would be tedious and outside the scope of the
present work were we to explain all the things which are spoken metaphorically
of God in Holy Scripture, with human figures. Let it be enough for
our present purpose, which is aimed against the sin of wrath, to have said
this that no one may through ignorance draw down upon himself a cause of
this evil and of eternal death, out of those Scriptures in which he should
seek for saintliness and immortality as the remedies to bring life and
Note for Book 8, Chapter 4: 1.
On the heresy of the Anthropomorphites see the notes on Conference X. c.
CHAPTER V. How calm a monk
ought to be.
AND so a monk aiming at perfection, and desiring to strive lawfully
in his spiritual combat, should be free from all sin of anger and wrath,
and should listen to the charge which the "chosen vessel" gives him.
"Let all anger," says he, "and wrath, and clamour, and evil speaking, be
taken away from among you, with all malice." When he says, "Let
all anger be taken away from you," he excepts none whatever as necessary
or useful for us. And if need be, he should at once treat an erring
brother in such a way that, while he manages to apply a remedy to one afflicted
with perhaps a slight fever, he may not by his wrath involve himself in
a more dangerous malady of blindness. For he who wants to heal another's
wound ought to be in good health and free from every affection of weakness
himself, lest that saying of the gospel should be used to him, "Physician,
first heal thyself;" and lest, seeing a mote in his brother's eye, he
see not the beam in his own eye, for how will he see to cast out the mote
from his brother's eye, who has the beam of anger in his own eye?
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 5:
1. Eph. 4:31. 2. S. Luke 4:23.
3. Cf. S. Matt. 7:3-5.
Of the righteous and unrighteous passion of wrath.
FROM almost every cause the emotion of wrath boils over, and blinds
the eyes of the soul, and, bringing the deadly beam of a worse disease
over the keenness of our sight, prevents us from seeing the sun of righteousness.
It makes no difference whether gold plates, or lead, or what metal you
please, are placed over our eyelids, the value of the metal makes no difference
in our blindness.
Of the only case in which anger is useful to us.
(NOTE: see corrective
to this argument by
Gregory the Great in his Moralia in Job)
WE have, it must be admitted, a use for anger excellently implanted
in us for which alone it is useful and profitable for us to admit it, viz.,
when we are indignant and rage against the lustful emotions of our heart,
and are vexed that the things which we are ashamed to do or say before
men have risen up in the lurking places of our heart, as we tremble at
the presence of the angels, and of God Himself, who pervades all things
everywhere, and fear with the utmost dread the eye of Him from whom the
secrets of our hearts cannot possibly be hid.
Instances from the life of the blessed David
in which anger was rightly felt.
AND at any rate (this is the case), when we are agitated against this
very anger, because it has stolen on us against our brother, and when in
wrath we expel its deadly incitements, nor suffer it to have a dangerous
lurking place in the recesses of our heart. To be angry in this fashion
even that prophet teaches us who had so completely expelled it from his
own feelings that he would not retaliate even on his enemies and those
delivered by God into his hands: when he says "Be ye angry and sin not."
For he, when he had longed for water from the well of Bethlehem, and had
been given it by his mighty men, who had brought it through the midst of
the hosts of the enemy, at once poured it out on the ground: and thus in
his anger extinguished the delicious feeling of his desire, and poured
it out to the Lord, without satisfying the longing that he had expressed,
saying: "That be far from me that I should do this! Shall I drink the blood
of those men who went forth on the danger of their souls?" And
when Shimei threw stones at King David and cursed him, in his hearing,
before everybody, and Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, the captain of the host,
wished to cut off his head and avenge the insult to the king, the blessed
David moved with pious wrath against this dreadful suggestion of his, and
keeping the due measure of humility and a strict patience, said with imperturbable
gentleness, "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? Let
him alone that he may curse. For the Lord hath commanded him to curse
David. And who is he who shall dare to say, Why hast thou done this?
Behold my son, who came forth from my loins, seeks my life, and how much
more this son of Benjamin? Let him alone, that he may curse, according
to the command of the Lord. It may be the Lord will look upon my
affliction, and return to me good for this cursing to-day."
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 8:
1. Ps. 4:5. 2. 2 Sam. 23:17.
3. 2 Sam. 16:10-12.
Of the anger which should be directed against ourselves.
AND some are commanded to "be angry" after a wholesome fashion, but
with our own selves, and with evil thoughts that arise, and "not to sin,"
viz., by bringing them to a bad issue. Finally, the next verse explains
this to be the meaning more clearly: "The things you say in your hearts,
be sorry for them on your beds:" i.e., whatever you think of in your
hearts when sudden and nervous excitements rush in on you, correct and
amend with wholesome sorrow, lying as it were on a bed of rest, and removing
by the moderating influence of counsel all noise and disturbance of wrath.
Lastly, the blessed Apostle, when he made use of the testimony of this
verse, and said, "Be ye angry and sin not," added, "Let not the sun go
down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil." If it
is dangerous for the sun of righteousness to go down upon our wrath, and
if when we are angry we straightway give place to the devil in our hearts,
how is it that above he charges us to be angry, saying, "Be ye angry, and
sin not"? Does he not evidently mean this: be ye angry with your
faults and your tempers, lest, if you acquiesce in them, Christ, the sun
of righteousness, may on account of your anger begin to go down on your
darkened minds, and when He departs you may furnish a place for the devil
in your hearts?
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 9:
1. Ps. 4:5. 2. Eph. 4:26.
CHAPTER X. Of the sun, of which it
is said that it should not go down upon your wrath.
AND of this sun God clearly makes mention by the prophet, when He says,
"But to those that fear my name the sun of righteousness shall arise with
healing in His wings." And this again is said to "go down" at
midday on sinners and false prophets, and those who are angry, when the
prophet says, "Their sun is gone down at noon." And at any rate
"tropically" the mind, that is the nous or reason, which is fairly called
the sun because it looks over all the thoughts and discernings of the heart,
should not be put out by the sin of anger: lest when it "goes down" the
shadows of disturbance, together with the devil their author, fill all
the feelings of our hearts, and, overwhelmed by the shadows of wrath, as
in a murky night, we know not what we ought to do. In this sense
it is that we have brought forward this passage of the Apostle, handed
down to us by the teaching of the elders, because it was needful, even
at the risk of a somewhat lengthy discourse, to show how they felt with
regard to anger, for they do not permit it even for a moment to effect
an entrance into our heart: observing with the utmost care that saying
of the gospel: "Whosoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the
judgment." But if it be lawful to be angry up till sunset, the
surfeit of our wrath and the vengeance of our anger will be able to give
full play to passion and dangerous excitement before that sun inclines
towards its setting.
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 10:
1. Mal. 4:2. 2. Amos 8:9.
3. On the different senses see the note on Conference XIV. viii.
4. S. Matt. 5:22. 5. Petschenig's text is as follows:
Ceterum si usque ad occasum solis licitur sit irasci, ante furoris satietas
et utrices irae commotionem poterunt noxiae perturbationis explere, quam
sol iste ad locum sui vergat occasus. That of Gazaeus has "ante perturbationes
noxiae poterunt furoris satietatem et ultricis irae commotionem explere,"
CHAPTER XI. Of those to whose wrath
even the going down of the sun sets no limit.
BUT what am I to say of those (and I cannot say it without shame on
my own part) to whose implacability even the going down of the sun sets
no bound: but prolonging it for several days, and nourishing rancorous
feelings against those against whom they have been excited, they say in
words that they are not angry, but in fact and deed they show that they
are extremely disturbed? For they do not speak to them pleasantly,
nor address them with ordinary civility, and they think that they are not
doing wrong in this, because they do not seek to avenge themselves for
their upset. But since they either do not dare, or at any rate are
not able to show their anger openly, and give place to it, they drive in,
to their own detriment, the poison of anger, and secretly cherish it in
their hearts, and silently feed on it in themselves; without shaking off
by an effort of mind their sulky disposition, but digesting it as the days
go by, and somewhat mitigating it after a while.
CHAPTER XII. How this is the end of
temper and anger when a man
carries it into act as far as he can.
BUT it looks as if even this was not the end of vengeance to every one,
but some can only completely satisfy their wrath or sulkiness if they carry
out the impulse of anger as far as they are able; and this we know to be
the case with those who restrain their feelings, not from desire of calming
them, but simply from want of opportunity of revenge. For they can
do nothing more to those with whom they are angry, except speak to them
without ordinary civility: or it looks as if anger was to be moderated
only in action, and not to be altogether rooted out from its hiding place
in our bosom: so that, overwhelmed by its shadows, we are unable not only
to admit the light of wholesome counsel and of knowledge, but also to be
a temple of the Holy Spirit, so long as the spirit of anger dwells in us.
For wrath that is nursed in the heart, although it may not injure men who
stand by, yet excludes the splendour of the radiance of the Holy Ghost,
equally with wrath that is openly manifested.
CHAPTER XIII. That we should not retain our anger
even for an instant.
OR how can we think that the Lord would have it retained even for an
instant, since He does not permit us to offer the spiritual sacrifices
of our prayers, if we are aware that another has any bitterness against
us: saying, "If then thou bringest thy gift to the altar and there rememberest
that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift at the altar
and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer
thy gift." How then may we retain displeasure against our brother, I
will not say for several days, but even till the going down of the sun,
if we are not allowed to offer our prayers to God while he has anything
against us? And yet we are commanded by the Apostle: "Pray without
ceasing;" and "in every place lifting up holy hands without wrath and
disputing." It remains then either that we never pray at all,
retaining this poison in our hearts, and become guilty in regard of this
apostolic or evangelic charge, in which we are bidden to pray everywhere
and without ceasing; or else if, deceiving ourselves, we venture to pour
forth our prayers, contrary to His command, we must know that we are offering
to God no prayer, but an obstinate temper with a rebellious spirit.
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 13: 1. S.
Matt. 5:23, 24. 2. 1 Thess. 5:17.
3. 1 Tim. 2:8.
CHAPTER XIV. Of reconciliation with our brother.
AND because we often spurn the brethren who are injured and saddened,
and despise them, and say that they were not hurt by any fault of ours,
the Healer of souls, who knows all secrets, wishing utterly to eradicate
all opportunities of anger from our hearts, not only commands us to forgive
if we have been wronged, and to be reconciled with our brothers, and keep
no recollection of wrong or injuries against them, but He also gives a
similar charge, that in case we are aware that they have anything against
us, whether justly or unjustly, we should leave our gift, that is, postpone
our prayers, and hasten first to offer satisfaction to them; and so when
our brother's cure is first effected, we may bring the offering of our
prayers without blemish. For the common Lord of all does not care so much
for our homage as to lose in one what He gains in another, through displeasure
being allowed to reign in us. For in any one's loss He suffers some
loss, who desires and looks for the salvation of all His servants in one
and the same way. And therefore our prayer will lose its effect,
if our brother has anything against us, just as much as if we were cherishing
feelings of bitterness against him in a swelling and wrathful spirit.
CHAPTER XV. How the Old Law would root
out anger not only from the actions
but from the thoughts.
BUT why should we spend any more time over evangelic and apostolic precepts,
when even the old law, which is thought to be somewhat slack, guards against
the same thing, when it says, "Thou shall not hate thy brother in thine
heart;" and again, "Be not mindful of the injury of thy citizens;" and
again, "The ways of those who preserve the recollection of wrongs are towards
death"? You see there too that wickedness is restrained not only
in action, but also in the secret thoughts, since it is commanded that
hatred be utterly rooted out from the heart, and not merely retaliation
for, but the very recollection of, a wrong done.
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 15:
1. Lev. 19:17, 18. 2. Prov. 12:28 [LXX].
CHAPTER XVI. How useless
is the retirement of those who do not give up
their bad manners.
SOMETIMES when we have been overcome by pride or impatience, and we
want to improve our rough and bearish manners, we complain that we require
solitude, as if we should find the virtue of patience there where nobody
provokes us: and we apologize for our carelessness, and say that the reason
of our disturbance does not spring from our own impatience, but from the
fault of our brethren. And while we lay the blame of our fault on
others, we shall never be able to reach the goal of patience and perfection.
CHAPTER XVII. That the peace
of our heart does not depend on another's will,
but lies in our own control.
THE chief part then of our improvement and peace of mind must not be
made to depend on another's will, which cannot possibly be subject to our
authority, but it lies rather in our own control. And so the fact
that we are not angry ought not to result from another's perfection, but
from our own virtue, which is acquired, not by somebody else's patience,
but by our own long-suffering.
CHAPTER XVIII. Of the zeal with which
we should seek the desert,
and of the things in which we make progress there.
FURTHER, it is those who are perfect and purified from all faults who
ought to seek the desert, and when they have thoroughly exterminated all
their faults amid the assembly of the brethren, they should enter it not
by way of cowardly flight, but for the purpose of divine contemplation,
and with the desire of deeper insight into heavenly things, which can only
be gained in solitude by those who are perfect. For whatever faults
we bring with us uncured into the desert, we shall find to remain concealed
in us and not to be got rid of. For just as when the character has
been improved, solitude can lay open to it the purest contemplation, and
reveal the knowledge of spiritual mysteries to its clear gaze, so it generally
not only preserves but intensifies the faults of those who have undergone
no correction. For a man appears to himself to be patient and humble,
just as long as he comes across nobody in intercourse; but he will presently
revert to his former nature, whenever the chance of any sort of passion
occurs: I mean that those faults will at once appear on the surface which
were lying hid, and, like unbridled horses diligently fed up during too
long a time of idleness, dash forth from the barriers the more eagerly
and fiercely, to the destruction of their charioteer. For when the
opportunity for practising them among men is removed, our faults will more
and more increase in us, unless we have first been purified from them.
And the mere shadow of patience, which, when we mixed with our brethren,
we seemed fancifully to possess, at least out of respect for them and publicity,
we lose altogether through sloth and carelessness.
CHAPTER XIX. An illustration
to help in forming an opinion on those who are only
patient when they are not tried by any one.
BUT it is like all poisonous kinds of serpents or of wild beasts, which,
while they remain in solitude and their own lairs, are still not harmless;
for they cannot really be said to be harmless, because they are not actually
hurting anybody. For this results in their case, not from any feeling
of goodness, but from the exigencies of solitude, and when they have secured
an opportunity of hurting some one, at once they produce the poison stored
up in them, and show the ferocity of their nature. And so in the
case of men who are aiming at perfection, it is not enough not to be angry
with men. For we recollect that when we were living in solitude a
feeling of irritation would creep over us against our pen because it was
too large or too small; against our penknife when it cut badly and with
a blunt edge what we wanted cut; and against a flint if by chance when
we were rather late and hurrying to the reading, a spark of fire flashed
out, so that we could not remove and get rid of our perturbation of mind
except by cursing the senseless matter, or at least the devil. Wherefore
for a method of perfection it will not be of any use for there to be a
dearth of men against whom our anger might be roused: since, if patience
has not already been acquired, the feelings of passion which still dwell
in our hearts can equally well spend themselves on dumb things and paltry
objects, and not allow us to gain a continuous state of peacefulness, or
to be free from our remaining faults: unless perhaps we think that some
advantage and a sort of cure may be gained for our passion from the fact
that inanimate and speechless things cannot possibly reply to our curses
and rage, nor provoke our ungovernable temper to break out into a worse
madness of passion.
Note for Book 8, Chapter 19:
1. Reading non innoxia (Petschenig).
CHAPTER XX. Of the way in which anger
should be banished according to the gospel.
WHEREFORE if we wish to gain the substance of that divine reward of
which it is said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,"
we ought not only to banish it from our actions, but entirely to root it
out from our inmost soul. For it will not be of any good to have
checked anger in words, and not to have shown it in deeds, if God, from
whom the secrets of the heart are not hid, sees that it remains in the
secret recesses of our bosom. For the word of the gospel bids us destroy
the roots of our faults rather than the fruits; for these, when the incitements
are all removed, will certainly not put forth shoots any more; and so the
mind will be able to continue in all patience and holiness, when this anger
has been removed, not from the surface of acts and deeds, but from the
very innermost thoughts. And, therefore to avoid the commission of
murder, anger and hatred are cut off, without which the crime of murder
cannot possibly be committed. For "whosoever is angry with his brother,
is in danger of the judgment;" and "whosoever hateth his brother is
a murderer;" viz., because in his heart he desires to kill him, whose
blood we know that he has certainly not shed among men with his own hand
or with a weapon; yet, owing to his burst of anger, he is declared to be
a murderer by God, who renders to each man, not merely for the result of
his actions, but for his purpose and desires and wishes, either a reward
or a punishment; according to that which He Himself says through the prophet:
"But I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues;"
and again: "Their thoughts between themselves accusing or also defending
one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men."
Notes for Book 8, Chapter 20:
1. S. Matt. 5:8. 2. S. Matt. 5:22.
3. 1 John 3:15. 4. Isaiah 66:18.
5. Et rursum (Petschenig): et Apostolus (Gazaeus).
6. Rom. 2:15, 16.
CHAPTER XXI. Whether we ought to admit the
addition of "without a cause," in that
which is written in the Gospel, "whosoever is angry with his brother,"
BUT you should know that in this, which is found in many copies, "Whosoever
is angry with his brother without a cause, is in danger of the judgment,"
the words "without a cause" are superfluous, and were added by those who
did not think that anger for just causes was to be banished: since certainly
nobody, however unreasonably he is disturbed, would say that he was angry
without a cause. Wherefore it appears to have been added by those
who did not understand the drift of Scripture, which intended altogether
to banish the incentive to anger, and to reserve no occasion whatever for
indignation; lest while we were commanded to be angry with a cause, an
opportunity for being angry without a cause might occur to us. For
the end and aim of patience consists, not in being angry with a good reason,
but in not being angry at all. Although I know that by some this
very expression, "without a cause," is taken to mean that he is angry without
a cause who when he is angered is not allowed to seek for vengeance.
But it is better so to take it as we find it written in many modern copies
and all the ancient ones.
Note for Book 8, Chapter 21:
1. S. Matt. 5:22. The word eike is said by Westcott and Host to be
"Western and Syrian." It is wanting in ['aleph = the Sinaiticus],
B, Origen, and was not admitted by Jerome in the Vulgate.
CHAPTER XXII. The remedies by which
we can root out anger from our hearts.
WHEREFORE the athlete of Christ who strives lawfully ought thoroughly
to root out the feeling of wrath. And it will be a sure remedy for
this disease, if in the first place we make up our mind that we ought never
to be angry at all, whether for good or bad reasons: as we know that we
shall at once lose the light of discernment, and the security of good counsel,
and our very uprightness, and the temperate character of righteousness,
if the main light of our heart has been darkened by its shadows: next,
that the purity of our soul will presently be clouded, and that it cannot
possibly be made a temple for the Holy Ghost while the spirit of anger
resides in us; lastly, that we should consider that we ought never to pray,
nor pour out our prayer to God, while we are angry. And above all,
having before our eyes the uncertain condition of mankind, we should realize
daily that we are soon to depart from the body, and that our continence
and chastity, our renunciation of all our possessions, our contempt of
wealth, our efforts in fastings and vigils will not help us at all, if
solely on account of anger and hatred eternal punishments are awarded to
us by the judge of the world.