Anger is not found even among the animals, yet is fitting only for a wild beast

November 20, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 362
By Venerable Louis of Granada



Anger is an inordinate desire of revenge.

Against this vice the Apostle strongly speaks: “Let all bitterness and anger, and indignation and clamor, and blasphemy be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.” [Ephes. iv. 31, 32.]

And our Saviour Himself tells us: “Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.” [St. Matt. v. 22.]

When this furious enemy assails you let the following considerations help you overcome its movements:

Consider, first, that even beasts live at peace with their kind. Elephants do not war upon one another; sheep live peaceably in one fold; and cattle go together in herds.

We see the cranes taking by turns the place of guard at night. Storks, stags, dolphins, and other creatures do the same.

Who does not know of the friendship between the ants and the bees? Even the wildest animals live united among themselves. One lion is rarely known to attack another, neither will a tiger devour one of his kind.

Yes, even the infernal spirits, the first authors of all discord, are united in a common purpose—the perversion of mankind.

Man alone, for whom peace is most fitting, lives at enmity with his fellow-men and indulges in implacable hatred.

All animals are born with weapons for combat. The bull has horns; the boar has tusks; the bird has a beak and claws; the bee has a sting, and even the tiny fly or other insect has power to bite. But man, destined to live at peace with his fellow-creatures, comes into the world naked and unarmed.

Reflect, then, how contrary to your rightful nature it is to seek to be revenged upon one of your kind, to return evil for evil, particularly by making use of weapons which nature has denied you.

In the second place, a thirst for vengeance is a vice which befits only savage beasts. You belie your origin, you disgrace your descent, when you indulge in ungovernable rage, worthy only of a wild animal.

Ælian tells of a lion that had been wounded by an African in a mountain defile. A year after, when this man passed the same way in the suite of King Juba, the lion, recognizing him, rushed among the royal guards, and, before he could be restrained, fell upon his enemy and tore him to pieces.

Such is the model of the angry, vindictive man. Instead of calming his fierce rage by the power of reason, that noble gift which he shares with the Angels, he abandons himself to the blind impulse of passions which he possesses in common with the brutes.

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