Thanks to Jim for an uncharacteristic face.

I don’t know if I’m madder at our country (think debt ceiling, politics, greed), our Church (think scandals, reneging on Vatican II), or the world (think environmental degradation, abuse of power, wars, poverty). I could go on, but that just makes me madder. So how do I let go of my anger? Lately I’ve been bringing it to prayer. The complaints come unbidden so I might as well integrate it into prayer. What I’ve found helpful is to balance anger with gratitude. Here’s how I got the idea.

A few months ago I was facilitating an Awakening the Dreamer symposium. At the end I asked each person if they could identify one step they could take to create a more environmentally sustainable, socially just, or spiritually fulfilling world. Of course I had to commit to something myself. I felt my plate was already full of commitments so I hesitated to take on one more project. I decided to commit to noticing one thing each day I was grateful for and to do this during morning prayer.

It’s been a good experience for me. As soon as I start fretting about the ills of our society, I call to mind that at least I have electricity and running water, or that we finally decided on which car to buy and had the money to buy it, or that my back pain and cold left in time for me to enjoy a dance weekend, or that there are even folk dances that people still do, or that there’s a gentle breeze…