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Elaine Sinnott shares her struggle with anger and how she strives to overcome its generational hold in her family.

The Cross of Anger

I battle with my cross daily. Anger is something I grew up with and witnessed due to this fallen, broken world. It was not uncommon to watch huge outbursts of anger and shouting, kicking and throwing things. I felt as though I was walking on eggshells for a lot of my childhood.

My dad always had this issue, the spirit of anger had a tight grip on him. And unfortunately, I have this anger inside of me, too. As a child, I vowed to never do this in my own home when I had my own children, yet here I am. It’s a daily, heart-wrenching battle.

Sometimes my oldest even asks me, “Why are you so mad at us all the time?” If that doesn’t bring me spiritually to my knees, I don’t know what more would.

My awareness of my shouting matches with my children is a gift few and far between. It’s like it’s programmed into me and I cannot find that off switch! It’s my instant reaction: I have no time to think through how to respond. Instead, I just react.


Reliance on the Lord’s Help

I often beg God to just take it away from me. But one early morning while walking our dog in the backyard and talking to God about it and asking Him to take the cross from me, feeling so discouraged by my ability to be a good mother, I suddenly knew it was a cross I was to bear for a while. And that it would be okay.

My deep weakness in this area makes me lean so heavily on my Lord for help.

My cross leads me to Him, to His loving, forgiving Arms. This is the sin that brings me to the confessional often, many times in tears.




Breaking Generational Sin

When I was talking to the Father in the backyard that day, He also revealed to me that when I have outbursts of anger in front of my children, that I can step up and apologize afterwards and admit I was wrong. That was an action I could take that would begin the change in my family tree. This was something different than what I witnessed growing up. When I was a child, when someone was mad or upset, it was brushed under the rug and never spoken about. Things weren’t worked through; they were just left to fester until the next outburst.

I realized I can break this generational cycle by being humbled by my mistakes and giving that example of humility to my children.


Killing Pride with Humility

While I wait and pray for the graces to become a more patient mom, with the gentle spirit of our Blessed Mother, I can make sure I actually talk to my children. I can be confident these graces will be given to me because this vocation is my path to heaven, the vocations of marriage and motherhood.

God will never deny me the necessary help to walk along that path!

Apologizing to my children is sometimes incredibly difficult—my pride wants to take over and instead make me swallow the apologetic words.

That would be so much easier!

But for us to grow into people for heaven, we must encounter uncomfortable things to be able to move forward.

The Lord has helped me to realize this is a great step in the right direction. It’s something I did not witness growing up and it is something different I can do to try and set a good example for my own children.

Even if my children receive my anger, they will also receive my humility and hopefully grow up being quick to apologize. That alone is breaking the generational sin.


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God will never deny me the necessary help to walk along the path to heaven. #catholicmom




Picking Up Your Cross

What cross do you carry, especially a cross that is tied with your vocation? Is it anger? Is it pride? Or is it something else? Ask God for the steps you can take to break that cross now while you wait for healing on earth and the ultimate healing in heaven. He is a good, good Father!

If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit* to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13)


Copyright 2022 Elaine Sinnott
Images: Canva