Resentment and anger, these are foul things, and both are found with the sinner.
He who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sin.
Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.
If a man nurses anger against another, can he then demand compassion from the Lord?
Showing no pity for a man like himself, can he then plead for his own sins?
Mere creature of flesh, he cherishes resentment; who will forgive him his sins?
Remember the last things, and stop hating, remember dissolution and death, and live by the commandments.
Remember the commandments, and do not bear your neighbour ill-will; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook the offence.
First reading for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Corruption comes from within, not from without. External influences have their influence, but the mess for us is what happens within us: our disordered desires and actions.
Sometimes we can exercise some control over these things. Sometimes we find ourselves powerless. However in every case it is good for us to ask for the Lord’s help. If we can control our anger, resentment and all, we have good reason for turning to the Lord and asking for help.
Our ability to forgive and to heal so often relies on our having the humility to ask for help.
Detail of Satan/Mephistopheles, a bronze artwork by Jean-Jacques Feuchère in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.