Alan was always angry and always making excuses for this. His father encouraged him to live like his Lord who did not cry out or caused anyone to hear his voice. He was repeating St. John Chrysostom’s words, “What is wrong should not be made right by a greater wrong. Wrath is a dangerous sin. We should not defend righteousness by wrath.”
Once the father gave his son some nails and said, “Whenever you get angry put a nail into the fence of the garden. Fix it strongly.”
On the first day, he counted the nails and found that they were about fifty. He wondered how he got furious fifty times a day. He cried to God to help him be calm and patient. Actually, the number lessened gradually until on a certain day, he did not got angry even once. The father was pleased with his son and gave him a lovely present. He then asked him to go and uproot all the nails. Alan removed them joyfully. He went to his father saying, “I thank God who uprooted from me the sin of anger which corrupted the sight for a long time.”
They both went to the fence. Alan said proudly to his father, “Look, there isn’t a single nail in the fence.”
Father rejoiced but said, “The nails are no longer there but their effect is still apparent in the fence. Man may get rid of anger but its old effect cannot be easily removed.”
Uproot from me the spirit of anger
So that I may behave as a son of yours who has the spirit of gentleness and long-suffering.
He who is angry with his brother cannot have Your righteousness.
May You give me Your righteousness so that I do not commit sin.
”So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (Jam. 1.19).
Jacqueline and the Parrot
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