On Anger

Long-suffering and readiness to forgive curb anger; love and compassion wither it.

- St. Thalassios the Libyan

If you rebuke someone in anger

If you rebuke someone in anger, you’ve allowed a passion to control you. You’ve not saved anyone & have destroyed yourself.

- Abba Macarius

On anger

Some people with a hot temper do not worry about it and ignore the remedies that would heal them. They forget, unfortunately, what is written: “Surely anger kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.” (Job 5:2)

- St. John Climacus

Οn the struggle against anger

Therefore, when anger comes, close your mouth tightly, and do not speak to him who curses, dishonors, reproaches, or bothers you in any way without reason. Then this snake will writhe around in your heart, rise up to your throat, and (since you don’t give it a way out) will choke and suffocate. When this is repeated several times, it will diminish and cease entirely…

- Elder Joseph the Hesychast

The only case in which anger is useful to us

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, namely, 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.

- From Book 8 of the Institutes by Saint John Cassian

The root of anger

The Gospel teaches us to cut off the roots of our sins and not merely their fruits. When we have dug the root of anger out of our heart, we will no longer act with hatred or envy. ‘Whoever hates his brother is a murderer’ (I Jn. 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind. The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, Who rewards each man with punishment or a crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well.

- St. John Cassian

Be angry at your sins

Are you angry? Be angry at your sins, beat your soul, afflict your conscience, but strict in judgement and a terrible punisher of your own sins. This is the benefit of anger, wherefore God placed it in us.

- St. John Chrysostom,

Flee from self-love

Flee from self-love, the mother of malice, which is an irrational love for the body. For from it are born the three chief sinful passions: gluttony, avarice, and vainglory, which take their causes from bodily needs, and from them all the tribe of the passions is born. This why we must always oppose self-love and fight against it. Whoever rejects self-love will easily conquer all the other passions with the help of God: anger, despondency, rancor, and the others. But whoever is retained by self-love will even unwillingly be conquered by the above-named passions.

- St. Maximus the Confessor, Chapters on Love

Even the slightest anger

Even the slightest anger or indignation does harm. We need to have goodness and love in our soul and to transmit these things.

- Elder Porphyrios

The causes of anger

The causes of anger are giving and taking, wanting to do one’s own will, taking delight in teaching and showing off to other people, and thinking oneself to be intelligent and wise. If one cuts off these causes, the passion of anger is weakened.

- Abbot Sergius from the Jordan Plain, Evergetinos

Give space to another’s anger

You see, you can’t put out a fire with oil. When a person is excited, contradiction just irritates him. You have to give space to his anger. But when his stormy state quiets down, and peace begins to be re-established in his soul- then you can offer him advice, and it will be much more effective, and be received with much love. I would advise you, too, to be careful in such cases. Do not reproach a person when he is angry- do not accuse him and do not argue with him. It is better to leave him in peace. Only be attentive to yourself, so as not to fall into discord. When you feel that your heart is irritated, recall the Jesus Prayer to your thoughts, and try to set a guard before your lips.

- Elder Macarius of Optina

Strive to preserve peace of soul

One must by every means strive to preserve peace of soul and not be disturbed by offenses from others; for this one must in every way strive to restrain anger and by means of attentiveness to keep the mind and heart from improper feelings. And therefore we must bear offenses from others with equanimity and accustom ourselves to such a disposition of spirit that these offenses seem to concern not us, but others. Such a practice can give quietness to the human heart and make it as dwelling for God Himself.

- St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions, Little Russian Philokalia, V. I

Dealing with anger

Therefore when anger comes, close your mouth tightly, and do not speak to him who curses, dishonors, reproaches or bothers you in any way without reason. Then this snake will writhe around in your heart, rise up to your throat, and (since you don’t give it a way out) will choke and suffocate. When this is repeated several times, it will diminish and cease entirely.

- Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Be angry at your sins

Are you angry? Be angry at your sins, beat your soul, afflict your conscience, but strict in judgement and a terrible punisher of your own sins. This is the benefit of anger, wherefore God placed it in us.

- St. John Chrysostom, Conversation of Ephesians, 2

Monastic Wisdom: about anger

Green Grass

…Therefore when anger comes, close your mouth tightly, and do not speak to him who curses, dishonors, reproaches or bothers you in any way without reason. Then this snake will writhe around in your heart, rise up to your throat, and (since you don’t give it a way out) will choke and suffocate. When this is repeated several times, it will diminish and cease entirely.

-Monastic Wisdom, The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast p.60-63, St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, Florence, AZ 85232