Anger versus Humility

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"Anger vs humility" by Christine Johnson (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Christine Johnson. All rights reserved.

“When people say WWJD, remember that flipping tables and yelling is an option.”

I’ve seen people pass this meme on, and I used to chuckle at it. But I’ve been thinking a lot about anger and how we deal with it this Lent, and I’m pretty convinced that this isn’t really a healthy thing for a Catholic to take to heart.

I’ve been struggling a lot over the last few months with a couple of coworkers who don’t always pull their weight. It makes everyone’s job difficult when people consistently slack off on their work because things can’t be left undone in a restaurant. Silverware must be wrapped, glasses must be washed, ice bins must be filled, because our customers expect us to be ready to serve them when they come in. There’s no room for pettiness when you wait tables because that leads to fewer customers, which leads to less money made on the job. So when someone leaves on a Saturday afternoon without doing their side work, everyone else has to make up for it so things don’t crash during the busy dinner shift.

Unfortunately, things crashed last Saturday evening, and I got angry at the people who hadn’t done their work. Let me rephrase that: I didn’t just get angry. I got table-flipping angry. I was so angry I felt like I couldn’t even approach Our Lord in the Eucharist on Sunday morning, and I wept throughout Mass.

I finally got to Confession this week, and Father reminded me of everything I had been contemplating throughout Lent (but failing to do).

Jesus, too, was mistreated. He, too, suffered. And He opened not His mouth. Jesus suffered willingly, and with love and forgiveness towards those who cause His suffering.

And that’s my example. I’m struggling with pride and the desire to be treated fairly when that just doesn’t happen all the time. I’m struggling with things being unfair, but Jesus wasn’t treated fairly. And He didn’t lash out or hate anyone.

It’s difficult to accept that sometimes we won’t be treated fairly, and we just have to suffer through it, bearing all wrongs patiently. We’re supposed to love those people who bother us, and even pray for them (and not “God, make them less jerky towards me, please” either).

I’ve started praying the Litany of Humility more often (and meaning it). I’m hoping it helps me adjust my attitude and gain more humility:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…

I’ve decided that I’m going to listen to Matt Maher’s musical version of this prayer on my way to work every day, too.

Please pray for me.


Copyright 2018 Christine Johnson

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About Author

Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and has two daughters whom she homeschools. They live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, homeschooler, and Lay Dominican.

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