Eph 4:30-5:2

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

What brings you back to peace?

Has our country yet fully and thoroughly contemplated, absorbed and spiritually dealt with what happened on January 6, 2021? Namely, that a large horde of Americans in bitter fury stormed the capital, broke into the Senate chamber, some intending to assassinate the Vice President and Speaker of the House, and tried to overturn a free and fair election? Most of them Christian Americans, in fact? Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is not a suggestion or friendly advice. Bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, malice must be removed from you. Not only can they lead, one way or another, to horrific events like January 6, but they will poison us from the inside out. If our anger bleeds into bitterness and fury, it will sunder us from our very souls and from each other. It is already happening in this country. We can invite the Holy Spirit in to help us, guide us, heal us. There is a way out.

Have the small frustrations of life ever unravelled into anger or fury, coming out in unintended, even harmful ways?  What brought you back to peace?

—Br. Joe Hoover, SJ, is a writer, actor, and poetry editor at America: The Jesuit Review and also works with Crown Heights Mutual Aid. He is a Jesuit of the Midwest Province living in New York City.



God, help us ground ourselves in your peace and your love. It is the only way out of our pain. Amen.

—Br. Joe Hoover, SJ