“If, therefore, you desire to attain perfection and rightly to pursue
the spiritual way, you should make yourself a stranger to all sinful
anger and wrath. Listen to what St Paul enjoins: ‘Rid yourselves of all
bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and all malice’ (Ephesians
4:31). In saying 'all’ he leaves no excuse for regarding any anger as
necessary or reasonable. …
No matter what provokes it, anger blinds the soul’s eyes, preventing it from seeing the Sun of righteousness.
Leaves, whether of gold or lead, placed over the eyes, obstruct the
sight equally, for the value of the gold does not affect the blindness
it produces. Similarly, anger, whether reasonable or unreasonable,
obstructs our spiritual vision.
Our incensive power can be used in a way that is according to nature
only when turned against our own impassioned or self-indulgent thoughts.
This is what the Prophet teaches us when he says: 'Be angry, and do not
sin’ (Psalms 4:4) - that is, be angry with your own passions and with
your malicious thoughts, and do not sin by carrying out their
~St John Cassian, On the Eight Vices, excerpt from 'On Anger’