How to Master Your Emotions and Bring Peace to Your Life
Rev. T. G. Morrow
Sophia Institute Press
Catholic Faith Alive
This was an incredibly powerful read. It was at times not an easy read. I have read through this book twice now but doing so took me almost 3 months. I would read a section and think about it, sometimes I read a section and immediately reread it. Growing up Irish Catholic I grew up in an environment when tempers could flare easily. Now often there would be blow ups but that was the end of it. Now as a husband and father myself, I know I need to improve in this area. The title of this book caught my attention as soon as I came across it. Now to be honest, I bought the book and then spent months procrastinating about starting to read it. But once I started I knew that I need the info presented by Father Thomas G. Morrow in this book in my life.
This book is written around stories, stories from history, stories from Rev. Morrow's counseling and stories drawn from traditions. It is an excellent read. The sections in the book are:
1. Recognize Sinful Anger
2. Understand the Causes of Angry Behavior
3. Process Anger Rationally
4. Learn to Forgive
5. Heal Painful Memories
6. Calm Marital Anger
7. Turn Your Anger at God to Praise
8. Learn to Overcome Your Habit of Anger
9. Help Your Children Overcome Their Anger
There is a prayer that Morrow presents that he has adapted from Cardinal Merry del Val that really hit me. I have prayed it a number of times and continue to do so:
"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.
From the desire to be esteemed, deliver me.
From the desire to be honored, deliver me.
From the desire to be praised, deliver me.
Teach me to accept humiliation, contempt, rebukes,
being slandered, being ignored,
being insulted, being wronged,
and being belittled.
Jesus, grant me the grace
that others be admired more than I;
that others be praised and I unnoticed;
that others be preferred to me in everything;
that others be holier than I, provided I become as holy as I should;
that I might imitate the patience and obedience of Your mother,
From this prayer he goes on to talk about biblical humility. He declares: "Humility is praised about 25 times in Scripture; the humble are praised about 48 times. Pride is held in contempt 103 times in Scripture; the proud are disdained about 68 times. If there was ever a foundational virtue to strive for, it is humility." Father Morrow's style is easy to read and he provides extensive quotes and footnotes that you can use to go deeper if you need to. Another amazing prayer that he provides is a prayer of thanks.
"Heavenly Father, I thank You for my very existence which You gave me out of the abundance of Your love and which You sustain at every moment. I thank You for my health, which I so often take for granted, for my family which I also take for granted. I thank You for my intellect, by which You enable me to think, and for my will, by which You enable me to love. Thank You for my body, and the food and drink by which You sustain it, and the shelter by which You protect it. Thank You for my soul, and the grace of Your Holy Spirit by which You nourish it.
My every talent comes from You, my every possession, my every moment of time, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Thank You for Blessed Mary who intercedes for me before You. And thank You most of all for Jesus, who has given us new life, new hope, new love by his death and resurrection, and for the Church which brings Him to us each day. What an awesome, generous, loving God You are!
You ask me to worship You at least weekly and to pray to You without ceasing. It is my privilege and my joy to do so in thanksgiving for all You have given me.
In writing about working at making changes he talks about using incentives he says: "In trying to change, we should use smaller, short-term incentives rather than larger, long-term ones. Some years back, a famous actress was given a large monetary incentive for each pound she lost. She lost the weight, but once she reached her goal, what happened? She put the pounds back on. A large incentive can become the main reason for change but once it is gone, so is the good behavior. So short-term incentives are better than long-term ones." His advice here and throughout the book is sound. He provides the motivation and the tools to work at making changes.
This was one of the best book I read this year out of the 177 book I read for personal development. And I highly recommend it!