About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Our Christian people regard with great joy everything that contributes to the splendor of the ceremonies. Jesus—who was poor in His private life—received ointment on His feet. See Thomas Aquinas (Prima Secundae, q. 102, art. 5, ad 10) and the holy Curé of Ars. The Church has always loved beautiful churches, and so forth. We must preserve our sacred patrimony and make sure sacred objects do not become secular possessions.”
— Abbot & Council Father denouncing “noble simplicity” during Vatican II

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Taming the Lion Within
published 8 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

In my book, Taming the Lion Within: 5 Steps from Anger to Peace, I explain a concept of Dr. Abraham Low, founder of Recovery, International — self-help groups for emotions out of control. The concept is Symbolic Victory.

Here is an example of the BAD strategy of symbolic victory. I was treated unjustly by a person or a group. I lack the power to win a victory over my opponents. This makes me feel impotent and raging. I hate feeling weak with no recourse. So, I try for a “symbolic” victory. How? When I talk to my allies over and over again about the hateful actions, policies, etc. of my opponents, I am in the superior position. I am the superior good guy. The unjust opponent is the slimy rat who is deserving of contempt, ostracism, etc. etc.

Did I achieve a real victory? No. I am still suffering from the effects of the “bad” guys actions. No compromises, reconciliations have taken place. Nothing has changed. Yet I feel momentarily compensated. I am right and he/she is wrong and I have shouted this from the roof tops.

Now, anger management does not mean that I passively, weakly, supinely, obsequiously, cringe before my opponent and beg him/her to take the foot off my neck. Not at all. What we learn in anger management is to become a tamed lion, carefully trying to see what I might be able to do now or in the future. If I am in Christian anger management I might look into free mediation even if there would be no hope of monetary recompence. If there is no mediation that would work in my circumstances, I might pray to God for wisdom as to what God wants me to learn from the experience, such as, help me God, never to treat anyone the way I was treated. Or, help me God to avoid people of a similar type to my victimizer even if there might seem to be other advantages to relating to such types. Or, “I offer all this pain for the final conversion of everyone I love and even my enemies.”

“Sounds good, but I’m too angry to do it,” you might say. If so try Recovery, International for groups near you or phone groups, or go to rondachervin.com and order my book.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.