Father Emmerich’s 12 Step Review new issue Out!

photo 1And this one is a doozy.  Anger and Fear. Man oh man how anger and fear drive the alcoholic into our cups. I am one to think I am never angry. I don’t even hardly ever feel angry. Cut me off in traffic? Oh, you’re probably on your way to an emergency. Cancel your ad at the last minute? Crap. But I get it. Things come up.

But when Fr Emmerich talks about Saint Thomas Aquinas (whom is awesome) take on anger: ” St Thomas Aquinas teaches that one can sin with regard to anger in two ways, by excess or by defect: by excess when we act out of the anger in a sinful way; by defect when we stuff the anger and become depressed instead of allowing the anger to express itself in a good and holy way.”

I’m a stuffer.

I cringe and get annoyed by those who express anger “by excess!” Those who go crazy, cuzz, freak out and make a scene causing everybody to feel so uncomfortable— aka my husband :)

But I’ve learned in recovery this is such a true Truth: “You spot it you got it.”  So, if I spot this awfulness expression of anger by excess do I have this in ME?  oh my goodness grose!  Please God no. I don’t have this awful anger thing, right?

Right?  Wrong.  I have what Saint Thomas Aquinas describes as anger “by defect,” where I stuff it and get depressed.  So, I can be all high and mighty that I’m not an “angry” person but damn straight I actually am.  I just handle my anger differently. I stuff it and deny it.  Either way, the sin is just as bad.

To see all of Father Emmerich’s 12 STep newsletters, check out www.12-step-review.org

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5 thoughts on “Father Emmerich’s 12 Step Review new issue Out!

  1. I am a proponent of the “you spot it you got it” school of thought. It has taken me time to get to it, but man, does it help me identify things in myself through others. Anyone that I find “annoying” has something that I find annoying about myself, even if I don’t see it. And that’s the frustrating thing when I am trying to get clarity when someone disturbs me. In terms of anger, I am with you on this one. I had my moments of outbursts, when drunk usually, but usually I held it all in. I too was embarrassed and frightened of those who could easily and over the top demonstrate anger. I was frightened because I feared my own anger. And that was something I had to come to terms with.

    Great post, Regina. Love seeing ya back here :)

    Love and light,
    Paul

  2. I agree that anger and fear drive a lot of alcohol tendencies. However, I’m thinking that excess and defect might not be so black and white as God works on us over time. For instance with the “you spot it you got it”, perhaps over time as God has worked His miracle on us its more like “you spot it you had it”. I can buy that for sure. I think its the same thing with “stuffing”. Initially its stuffing, but over time I think it just becomes “water off a ducks back” as God helps us “let go” of the garbage that once troubled us. However, its that transition from one phase to the next that is just frigging ups and downs and drives me to want a drink :|

  3. Hey there, I just stumbled upon your blog. I am the mom of a young adult alcoholic and drug addict and the wife of a recovering alcoholic and I’m Catholic! I have often thought that fear which has driven so much of my codependent behavior over the years must be Satan himself! My best friend’s son is a novice brother of the Eastern Province of the Dominican Order of Preachers (don’t know that that actual title sounds right) anyway since he is a student of the Summa, I asked him what fear really is and he said that it is imperfect love. It is a lack of faith and trust. It helps me to see it that way so that I can find the needed courage to follow God’s will instead of responding to my fears. Great blog!

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