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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
Anger, Forgiveness, and Love 
By Frank J Casella

“Forgive me for the times I have not been a dutiful son, obeying the commandments, and making my life a sacrifice in tribute to your sacrifice on Calvary to forgive my sins.”


These are the words from A Man’s Prayer (PDF).  God loves us that He sent His only Son into the world to save us from ourselves. How much more should we forgive others? This is demonstrated by Jesus Himself when on the cross.


After suffering and dying for us, He looked up to God and said "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." As Christians, we should live in such a way that we are constantly forgiving, as this is the only way to truly love others. 


"Then Peter approaching asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?"  ..  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.""


We need to remember that we are all human. We make mistakes. We hurt each other. We need to forgive each other. It is the only way to move forward. Remember that the person who did the wrong thing could also hurting inside.


People in the United States are living in a world that is both war-torn and divided. There have been shootings, protests, and vitriolic debates on and off social media. And then there is the tone of politics today. People need a lot of forgiveness in order to heal the fractures in our society. 


I think we have forgotten how to work things out with civility because we have too much litigation in our society.


"Jesus doesn’t condemn us, for trying to forgive and not being able to. Jesus lets us know that if we fail, it’s okay to try again. That the important part is that we try again."  


I have come to learn that anger is not a sin. Most people think that anger is a bad thing, but I now know that it can be a valuable emotion when used in the right way. For example, anger can help us when we are negotiating or when we are fighting for what we believe in. It can also be a sign that we are standing up for ourselves and defending our rights. 


Anger is sinful when there is an undue vehemence in the passion itself, whether inwardly or outwardly. Ordinarily it is then accounted a venial sin unless the excess be so great as to go counter seriously to the love of God or of one’s neighbor.


The most helpful thing I have found is to ask “does my anger show how I love Jesus”?


So, I have a plan for you ….


Most of us probably don’t picture Jesus getting angry. We’ve been conditioned to regard anger as something to be controlled, as one of the “bad” emotions. But Matthew 21:12 shows us at least one incident in Jesus’ life when he was not only angry, but he overturned tables and generally created a mess in a public place. And the story suggests that there’s a difference between rage and outrage.


Anger can be a normal and natural response to a situation, but outrage is a much more intense form of anger that can lead to violence. Jesus shows us that there’s a difference between these two emotions, and that using anger in the right way can be incredibly helpful in achieving our goals. 


It's no secret that anger, and a lack of forgiveness, happen most often when our lives don't go as we planned. When we extend forgiveness to others, we become a better person, and people tend to respond more positively. In other words, forgiving others is good for our own self-esteem and can help improve the relationships we have with them. 


With this in mind, I find, when anger strikes, instead of seeking apology, it is better to first offer forgiveness. 


So I challenge you to make this a plan, and then let me know how things are going - directly at


The list to forgive, and the benefits for it, is endless as I’m sure you can imagine.  Forgiveness is key to a long and happy life … think about it.



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