CALMING THE STORM: ADDRESSING OUR ANGER AND BITTERNESS TOWARD OTHERS.
It is only through attaining the virtue of mourning spoken of in the previous step that placidity and meekness may be achieved. For it is mourning which destroys all anger and any desire to be spoken well of in this life.
Placidity, or freedom from anger, begins when one keeps silent even when the heart is moved and provoked. Slowly the virtue develops as one learns to control and silence his thoughts during an angry encounter. Eventually one is able to remain calm even when a tempest rages about him.
Freeing oneself from anger, however, requires great humility and meekness. For to be free from anger necessitates that one be calm, peaceful and loving to a person who has treated him wrongly. This is what makes a monastery such a wonderful training ground in John's eyes. For it is there that one is purified through the constant reproofs and rebuffs of his fellow monks. Such reproof gradually cleanses a soul of this passion.
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