With smartphones and security cameras seemingly everywhere all the time, there have been numerous examples of an individual’s anger leading to tantrums that only an out of control three-year-old in a grocery store could admire.  There have been meltdowns by some individuals refusing to wear masks.  On the other hand, people have thrown hissy fits upon seeing some unmasked and not keeping proper distance.  Both may well be an unconscious attempt to feel in control over a pandemic we can’t control.

Today is the feast of Saint John Cassian (c. 360-435) whose writings had a tremendous influence on Saint Benedict and the development of monasticism in the Roman Catholic Church. Here are some saintly thoughts on dealing poorly with anger.

“We must, with God’s help, eradicate the deadly poison of the demon of anger from the depths of our souls. . . If we take Saint Paul literally, then we are not allowed to cling to our anger for even a day (cf. Eph 4.26). I would like to make a comment, however, that many people are so embittered and furious when they are in a state of anger, that they not only cling to their anger for a day, but drag it on for weeks. I am at a loss for words to explain those who do not even vent their anger in speech but erect a barrier of sullen silence around them and distill the bitter poison of their hearts until it finally destroys them.”


Lifelong parishioner Libby Interdonato died. Please pray for her and her brother Sam. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


Bishop Mark Brennan will be here to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for, and with, our youth at a special 11:00 am Sunday Mass on August 23.  Only the candidates, their parents, and sponsors will be able to be inside the church. It will, however, be live-streamed on Facebook.  We will have an 8:30 am Mass on that Sunday August 23 to allow others to come to Mass on that Sunday.


We have not yet had to turn people away because we didn’t have space to seat them with the legally mandated social distancing requirements. Weekend Masses will continue at 5pm on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays, with doors opening 30 minutes prior.  Weekday Masses on Tuesday and Thursday continue to be open to the public with the usual protocols in place.


Let us pray! is a bimonthly series on prayer and the spiritual life live-streaming on my Facebook page — Paul Wharton Beckley, WV.

Episode 2 — Types of Prayer  
Links: video & notes

Episode # 3 —  Whys and Why Nots

Monday at 7pm on August 3, 2020

Live-streamed on Facebook – Paul Wharton Beckley, WV



“Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbor a grudge.”

— Ecclesiastes 7:9


“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

— Ephesians 4:26


“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother or sister will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

— Matthew 5:22


POEM of the DAY:  
When Anger Tries to Burn


When anger tries to burn up the temple of my body,

I’ll look to the goodness of God, whom anger never touched.


I’ll look to God whom anger never touched, and I’ll become

sweeter than the breeze whose gentleness moistens the earth.


I’ll look to God whom anger never touched, and I’ll have

spiritual joy because virtues will begin to show themselves in me.


I’ll look to God whom anger never touched, and —

because I look to Him — I’ll experience God’s calm goodness.

— Saint Hildegarde of Bingen (1098-1179)


PRAYER of the DAY:

Saint Jerome had a notorious temple that we hard to forget when experienced.  The occasions eruptions were followed by feelings of remorse and shame. Here is one of his prayers.


O Lord, show Your mercy to me and gladden my heart.

I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers,

wounded and left for dead.

O Good Samaritan, come to my aid.


I am like the sheep that went astray.

O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will.


Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and

praise You for ever and ever with those who are there. Amen.

— Saint Jerome (345-420)



A husband said to his wife of 30+ years: “When I get mad at you, you never fight back. How do you control your anger?”  She answered, “I clean the toilet.” The puzzled man

asked, “How does that help?”  She sheepishly replied, “I use your toothbrush.”


A priest’s car had broken down on a two-lane highway outside of town. He was riding in the tow truck. Walking along the edge of the road were some teens – their pants sagging, they were smoking, had a beer in hand, were not wearing face masks or practicing proper social distancing, and could clearly be heard cursing loudly at a billboard that urged, “Support your local police.”   This enraged driver who was a retired cop. He drifted toward the side of the road as if to hit them, then swerved to miss them when he realized his priest was seated right next to him. There was a horrible noise, and the teens went flying in the air. The cop turned to the priest and said, “I’m sorry, Father, but their actions drove me to uncontrollable anger and I hit them.” The priest looked at him and said, “Don’t worry, my son.  You didn’t hit them at all. You WERE going to miss them, so I got ’em with the door!”