A woman went to talk to a priest because of a strange problem. She was angry with God. Although she told it in a vague way, she felt that God was responsible for her unhappiness. Her life was going by at full speed and now, at 55, she felt a bitter anger against Him, because, although she had been a good person, religious, moral, generous and faithful to her commitments, she had not managed to be happy in her whole life.

She wondered if it was something she had chosen for herself or if it had been imposed on her by circumstances. Deep down, she envied the dishonest or immoral people who seemed never to feel the discomfort she experienced and which came from her way of living as consistently as possible with morality and religion.

She felt cheated by God. He was to blame. She was very angry and full of resentment towards Him. And she was angry for being angry, for not being able to react with more conformity and acceptance of the reality that was imposed on her.

What can one say to such a person?

– First of all, that getting angry with God and saying it to Him can be a high form of prayer, at least potentially. God did not create us human beings as a flock of resigned and silent lambs… He made us free. That is why characters like Job or Jacob appear in the Bible arguing with God or fighting with his angel. They made defiance into an unusual relationship with God… Instead of acquiescing with “Thy will be done“, they exasperated him with “Change your will!“.

– Moreover, such defiance can be a form of prayer, because at its heart it is a form of love. People who live together in love for a long time have to resolve numerous tensions with each other. They have a constant struggle with each other, a lot of anger, and each one harbours resentment. But this joint struggle, if persevered in, always leads to a new depth of love.

There is a story of a Polish Jew who, because of resentment towards God “because of what happened in the Auschwitz concentration camp“, turned away from prayer. Eventually, however, he returned to prayer. When asked why, he replied: “I felt sorry for God“.

This man had reached that new phase of love: that of compassion for Him. God’s concerns became his concerns. That level is reached after a hand-to-hand struggle with God, when anger with Him is transformed into compassion.

 

Juan Carlos cmf

(PHOTO: Peter Foster)

 

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