Getting Angry with God

January 25, 2012

Friday’s reflection by Ron Rolheiser honestly captured the reality that every person who believes in God will at some point get angry with God.  He suggests that having complete honesty with God and struggling through and being honest about our anger can bring us to a new depth of love with God.  A great read! 

Too often we are under the impression that God does not want us to struggle with him, that God prefers sheep who docilely acquiesce (even as they swallow hard on the bitterness that so spontaneously arises in the emotional, psychological and sexual mechanisms which God built into them). But God wants to be wrestled with. As Rabbi Heschel points out, ever since the day that Abraham argued with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jacob wrestled with the angel, those close to God have also occasionally engaged in similar arguments. The refusal to accept the harshness of God’s ways in the name of God’s love is an authentic form of prayer. Indeed, the prophets and saints were not always in the habit of simply saying, “Thy will be done.” They often fought, challenged, squirmed and begged as a way of saying “Thy will be changed!” I suspect that sometimes they did annul divine plans. God wants to be struggled with, especially if we have been living in God’s house for a while.

How can wrestling be a form of prayer? Wrestling can be a form of prayer precisely because it can be a form of love. People who live together in love for a long time must resolve many tensions. There is constant wrestling, much anger and occasional bitterness. But the struggling together, if persevered in, always leads to new depth in love.

God invites and, I dare say, enjoys the struggle. ~Ron Rolheiser

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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