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Pope Francis at the General Audience yesterday (Vatican Media)

Reflecting on the sin of wrath, Pope Francis yesterday invited people to guard against channelling anger unjustly and insisted they follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness. Source: Vatican News.

The Pope reminded people gathered for his weekly General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall that wrath and anger tend to grow out of control, and so people are called to actively seek peace and reconciliation.

Continuing his catechesis series on virtues and vices, the Pope called wrath a particularly “dark vice” that is perhaps the easiest to detect from a physical point of view. 

“The person dominated by wrath can hardly conceal this impetus; you recognise it by the movements of their body, their aggressiveness, their laboured breathing, their grim and frowning gaze,” he said. 

In its most acute manifestation, the Pope noted, anger is a vice “that leaves no respite.”

“There are people who hold back their anger at work, proving to be calm and compassionate, but once at home they become unbearable for their spouses and children.”

He said wrath can pervade one’s being, affect sleep and cause a person to replay it in their mind. Moreover, he said, it destroys relationships. 

Pope Francis said the Apostle Paul, aware of how anger can grow out of control, urged Christians “to address the problem at once and seek to reconcile.”

“It is important that everything be dissolved immediately, before the sun sets,” Pope Francis insisted.

“If some misunderstanding may arise during the day and two people may no longer understand each other, suddenly perceiving themselves to be far apart,” the Pope said, address it and reconcile, so “the night will not be handed over to the devil”.

Otherwise, he observed, wrath will “keep us awake in the dark, brooding over our reasons and unaccountable mistakes that are never ours and always the other’s.”


Pope at Audience: Reconcile, let go of anger before the sun sets (By Deborah Castellano Lubov, Vatican News)