Suggested Reading:

Learn your Faith through this free series of  video presentations by
Dominican Friars

St. Thomas Institute

St. Thomas Institute

ope Saint Pius V

Pope Saint Pius V pray for Holy Mother Church, for Heresies abound

Pray for Holy Mother Church,
for heresies abound

Boston Catholic Journal

Write us:

Boston Catholic Journal





















































































































































































































































































Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


Understanding Gods Anger

The Wrath of God Understanding God's Anger

Anger and God


What, then, are we to say of anger ... particularly God’s anger? Is not anger one of the Seven Capital Sins? How can we, then, ascribe this to God Most Holy? We are perplexed by references to Gods anger, most often dismissing them to the cultural peculiarities and obscure literal nuances of Jewish literature evident, most notably, in the Old Testament, where, we are told, God was simply misconstrued as a “God of wrath — unlike His Son Who revealed Him in terms of love. But even in the Son we find,  “the wrath of the Lamb  (Apocalpyse 6.16) in the Book of the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation). What, then, are we to make of this seeming contradiction between the God of Love that we have come to understand in Jesus Christ, and the God of wrath?  Is He the one, or the other? Is He both? Or is it the case that the notion of anger itself is an expression of love?

 Remember man, remember woman, that His ways are not your ways.

God is Love

To understand the passion of God’s love, we must look carefully at our own. We are, after all, made in the image of God, and God is Love. What does love prompt in us? What does it motivate us toward?  Let us look deeply into our own love first before we attempt to understand the love of God, which, we are told repeatedly, is  “a jealous love.

Who has not come to understand in a way that allows of no equivocation, the depth and intensity of the love of a spouse — once that love has been provoked to jealousy through being threatened by the competing love of another? In the face of this outrage, one begins to grasp the deep sense of ones value to the lover.

Who has not experienced a profound and deeply humbling sense of irreplaceable worth, when the jealous love of a lover expresses itself in anger, both at the beloved and the one provoking the jealousy? A completely righteous anger is stirred in the lover who perceives the possible loss of the beloved to another ... especially to another who would mistreat, use, and value far less the beloved who, to the lover, is of unsurpassable worth. Who would see his wife wrenched from his absolute love and devotion, throw off her dignity as wife and mother, and become in the eyes of the world, and eventually in her own eyes, a mere courtesan through the passing and passionate whim, the lies and deceits, of another? Who could withhold his anger? Who would not strike out, not in punishment, but in pain?

Would we characterize, even dismiss, such a hapless man, in this paroxysm of jealousy and indignation, as simply an innately angry individual with a penchant for punishment? This is the Book of Hosea. If you really want to understand the nature of God's love and the essence of what we misconstrue as His “anger, read the Book of Hosea. Is there a more poignant account of the love of God for His people than what we encounter in these pages?

Let us take another tack: what father, upon seeing his son innocently responding to the wanton and perverse solicitation of another man, would not scold the child in a rage as towering in height as the love that provoked it, and strike out at once and without compunction at the one seducing his son from his of innocence?

What father, loving a child, would reason thus: “Well, such things are acceptable in these evil days, and any expression of anger on my part would not be deemed “correct, and what is more, I am liable to infringe on the liberty of that man, however salacious (albeit, in a day long gone) his intentions are, and however harmful they will be to my son. I will then restrain myself, hold to correctitude, and say nothing and do nothing that would compromise my esteem in the community. Do we not say as much in our reproach to Gods anger?

Seeing the Perfect Love of God  — in Anger

How incredibly blind we are to the love of God! We despise His anger as unworthy of a perfect God, instead of seeing the perfect love of God within it!

The Father in His righteous anger — which flows from and is motivated by love — unmistakably communicates to the child exactly where the line is drawn —- beyond which only evil lies; His anger conveys nothing of malice; to the contrary, it is an indication of His watchful care  — and above all else, His constant and ever vigilant love.

From the beginning — “anger
is first ascribed to God as early as Exodus 32.12 — man in his sinfulness and guilt invariably misunderstands, or better yet, misconstrues what he interprets as Gods anger, likening it to his own which, more often than not, is unjust and proceeds from the sole desire to inflict punishment, not justly, to the end of correction that is motivated by love, the constructive love which seeks the good of the beloved — but gratuitously, as a pathological means to the satisfaction demanded by pride and exacted through fury, which is disordered anger, blind, and always destructive. There is a vital difference between the two. In fury, punishment is not motivated by love, and it is not expressed as a means to correction. It is not meted in a measure commensurable with the offense (and is therefore intrinsically unjust), and of itself seeks no coherent good — which is why it is understood as disordered. This is the unbridled anger of man, the anger that caused Cain to slay Able in the beginning. It is not the anger of God.

Who among us has not encountered a situation where gentle appeals to correction fall on deaf and unwilling ears? How often has God first said,
“Come, let us reason, and that failing, resorted to the means alone through which correction would be motivated?

Even after 40 years in the desert, Israel remained “a stiff-necked people, just as we remain obdurate in our sins until some calamity befalls us that finally causes us to recognize that the way we have chosen — which was not God's way, and distinctly contrary to it — is precisely what brought calamity upon us ... and not God, Who relentlessly called us away from it. After how many appeals to a child not to touch a hot stove, does the child yet persist until, apart from our will, he has his way ... and to great sorrow? Who will call us to account? Only after he is afflicted does he see, understand, that our appeals were motivated not by malice, but by love, and that, after all, our wisdom exceeds his own? Sometimes, perhaps even often, affliction is the only way through which we begin to trust God — Who in all ways and in every place, seeks our good.

In our fallen state, even this too often fails. So Jesus Christ came to reveal his Father not as one eager to inflict punishment — but as LOVE. In Exodus we read,
“God is a God of mercy, slow to anger and abounding in truth and love (Exodus 34.6). And still Israel wandered in the desert for a generation.

In the second letter of St. Peter, we are told, “He is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.

When the human heart is cleansed from sin, when a heart is pure it does not fear punishment — it knows God as love (1 John 4.18). It comes to know God as “Abba.” as “Father in the most meaningful and intimate way. It comes to understand that nothing proceeds from the hand of the Father but good, and precisely because it does not always comprehend, faith supplants understanding, and through that faith, trusts! The soul, that is to say, comes to a loving trust in God that it would never have acquired apart from that anvil of Righteous Anger ... upon which it was forged by the love of God.


Boston Catholic Journal

   Printable PDF Version

Comments? Write us:



Boston Catholic Journal

Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome

Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

Copyright © 2004 - 2024 Boston Catholic Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying and distribution of the articles and audio files under the following conditions:  No additions, deletions, or changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text, or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic Journal.


The Face

The Face and the Culmination of Vatican II

and the
of Vatican II

Search the Boston Catholic Journal

Basic Catholic

Free Catholic Audio Library
in Latin & English

Audio Books,
devotions, and
isten to them
or download them

completely free

You Cannot Build Down

Archbishop Fulton Sheen - The Fourth Great Crisis in the Church - The End of Christendom
The Destruction
of everything in the Past

Archbishop Fulton Sheen




Baltimore Catechism - the most authoritative Catholic Catechism ever printed

Discover what
the Church

has taught for

2000 Years
before Vatican II

Newly Formatted
with hyperlinks
for improved readability

Read online

Download the PDF

The Little Office

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
of the
Blessed Virgin Mary

Pope Pius V Catechism of Trent

Catechism of the Council of Trent New Edition

New Edition (free)

A Primer for

A Primer for Catholic Symbolism

Catholic Symbolism

Listen to
this Catholic Spiritual Classic:

The Practice of the Presence of God - an audio Presentation

The Practice
of the
of God

Complete Audio Files

Novena to
St Jude

 Novena to St Jude Printable 4-fold with one piece of paper

Printable Booklet
on 1 sheet
of paper, 4-fold, free

With Mary in the Rose Garden

With Mary Immaculate, Mother of God in the Rose Garden
Reflections on the Rosary
with a Poor Clare Nun and
Saint Padre Pio

Pope Saint Pius X
Pray for us

Pope Saint Pius X pray for us

“I shall spare myself neither
care nor labor nor vigils for
the salvation of souls”