Do you know what will age you faster than anything else ? Potions and lotions will not slow down aging for you if you are carrying around chronic anger, unforgiveness and bitterness. Holding on to a grudge is stressful and aging. Chronic anger stresses the body, and can cause a host of physical problems, including the development of heart disease. Anger is also visible on the face. Chronic anger will age us quickly.
I have experience with the nasty effects of anger.
Five years ago two priests were dismissed from our parish, and no one came to comfort the wounded and shocked parishioners, including me.
I was tremendously angry about the betrayal, and sought help from a spiritual director, who advised me to read and meditate on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, in Matthew 18: 23-35.
I read this passage many times, and still keep the bookmark in my Bible at that page. I realized that God expects us to forgive, no matter how grievously we have been wronged.
I began to pray that God would help me to forgive. I knew that I could not do this in my own strength.
Although secular gurus agree that forgiveness is necessary for the health of the soul, they maintain that humans can forgive through an act of willpower.
Genuine forgiveness; however, requires God’s help.
After praying for the ability to forgive for several years, I noticed one day that my spirit felt lighter, as I had forgiven the perpetrators ! I was able to pray that they would find their way to repentance.
When I looked in my mirror that day, I saw that my appearance had changed ! My eyes sparkled, the tension in my face was gone, and fine lines had softened. I had had a procedure, but it was not a cosmetic procedure, it was a spiritual procedure that released me from the heavy spiritual backpack of anger that I had been carrying around for several years.
Let us pray for the grace of being willing to forgive those who have hurt us. God will help us to forgive, when He sees that we are sincerely willing to do so.