June 13 – Thursday
Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Gospel Reading: MT 5:20-26
Are you ever driven by anger, rage, or revenge? Sin is couching at the door; it's desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). Sin doesn't just happen to us – it first grows as a tiny seed in our heart. Unless it is uprooted by God's grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the vine and all its fruit.
Forbidden anger must be uprooted from our heart.
Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples. The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the outward observance of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come. Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice. Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one's brother. This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die. Harboring anger in the heart as well as anger in speech and action are equally forbidden by God.
Prayer: (all together)
Lord, May I be no man's enemy,
May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy no one. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me.
May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another.
May I never fail a friend who is in danger.
When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain.
May I respect myself.
May I always keep tame that which rages within me.
May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances.
May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps. Amen
(Prayer of Eusebius, 3rd century)