Anger Guilty and Not

Image - angry kind

Contemplating revenge? Or just feeling like the victim of an injustice?

The American Psychological Association defines “anger” as “an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, however, defines “anger” as “a desire for revenge.” (§2302).

A desire for revenge seems more intentional to me than an emotion, which seems more like a reaction – an involuntary one, at that – to someone’s wronging you. I feel I could react with the APA’s kind of anger without being guilty of the Church’s kind. Although maybe if I examined my own motives with sufficient care, I would find that desire for revenge lurking in my emotionally reactive antagonism. But then again, maybe not.

About HAT

Heather Thiessen (HAT) is a happily married 60-ish, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church Sunday School teaching and choir singing, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out lesbian Hoosier mom. (There are no monochrome states.) From time to time she teaches religious studies to students at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky.
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