And 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
- Spring 2013 Issue of Twelve-Step Review: Christian Friendship (catholicalcoholic.com)
- Audio Resources for Catholic Alcoholics (catholicalcoholic.com)
- 7 Quick Takes Friday: 7 Role Models for Catholic Alcoholics (catholicalcoholic.com)
- Book Review: The Freedom to Love by Father Emmerich Vogt,O.P. (catholicalcoholic.com)
- New Issue of 12 Step Review is Out (catholicalcoholic.com)