There’s a fad, mostly over, I think, concerning how a Christian should behave in a particular situation. “WWJD,” as in “What Would Jesus Do?” The implication is that He would be “nice.”
There’s a joke going around the Internet which suggests that whenever asked, “WWJD?,” you should state something like: “An acceptable response might be to grab a rope, make a whip out of it and go berserk against wrongdoers.”
An excerpt from the Gospel from today’s Mass for the Third Sunday of Lent:
John 2: 15-16
“And when he had made something like a whip out of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, including the sheep and the oxen. And he poured out the brass coins of the moneychangers, and he overturned their tables.
And to those who were selling doves, he said: “Take these things out of here, and do not make my Father’s house into a house of commerce.””
via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.
Jesus was angry. If you’ve been in a Twelve Step recovery program long enough, you’ll hear things like “anger is best used by people who can handle it,” which is essentially correct as we alcoholics, even after a long time in sobriety, have a difficult time with anger. We dwell on those things that make us angry, we obsess about them, and sometimes resentments develop.
Does this mean we should never become angry? An impossible task if you ask me. So it could suggest that we should “pick and choose” what we get angry about.
Of course, this takes practise. A recitation of the “Serenity Prayer” often throughout the day might help.
Also, anticipation of things that might happen during the course of your day is good, too. In any given normal day, certain situations arise which typically might make you want to reach for a whip and drive people away from you because they are annoying or irritating. Would that we could.
So plan ahead.
Another thing: the world is crazy and getting crazier. You might want to “pick and choose” what news you pay attention to. Don’t become an ostrich and plant your head in the sand and ignore the world; just be careful regarding your news intake (however you manage it – news sites, social media feeds, whatever.)
But what about righteous anger? Again, sometimes that “is best used by people who can handle it.” But I think that as Catholic Christians we should not take the easy way out and say that because “we’re alcoholics and addicts, we can’t deal with social problems since our sobriety might be threatened.” We have access to the Sacraments, namely the Mass and the Eucharist to help give us strength and courage. We can get interested in life issues, homelessness and poverty. We are called to do that. Within our means and abilities, yes, but we should not ignore problems for others to handle.
Again, the Serenity Prayer can help. Also the realization that we can do things in solidarity with others.
Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"