Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Anger and the Psalms

Most of us live in a world in which anger is not a completely acceptable emotion. We are nice people who believe in a religion of peace and we may not experience anything that really seems to make us angry. When our reality is then confronted with the reality of the cursing Psalms we experience a sense of dislocation. We feel that these are not acceptable sentiments for prayer.  
Once again, though, the cries for destruction of enemies and vengeance can become good news. To people who have lost everything, their families, their health, their possessions, their autonomy, anger is not a foreign emotion. For the victims of atrocities in our world anger is a healthy response. When people are able to feel anger rather than simply the emptiness of loss, healing can begin. The Psalms then facilitate this healing because they engender a reality in which it is God who is called upon to act. We are not called upon to personally destroy our enemies but we reaffirm our faith that God is Lord and will bring about justice. A cycle of violence is not being created but rather an affirmation that evil will not triumph.

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