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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“The choir shall henceforth sing or say no anthems of our Lady or other Saints, but only of our Lord, and then not in Latin; but choosing out the best and most sounding to Christian religion they shall turn the same into English, setting thereunto a plain and distinct note for every syllable one: they shall sing them and none other.”
— 1548 Edict of King Edward VI (a heretic) for Lincoln Cathedral

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Roots of Rage
published 18 October 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

I had an incident of out of control rage on my part which yielded such good insights that it is worth it to tell this awful story on myself for the sake of making vivid points.

At breakfast at Holy Apostles Seminary we were discussing whether Catholics who are not sisters or priests can wear rosaries around their necks.

A Seminarian (who is leaving shortly): “No, because it’s making a sacred object into jewelry.”

Ronda: (Looking at the jewelry on the hand of the seminarian, a friend by the way, I grabbed his hand the pointed to this jeweled ring and yelled, banging my other hand on the table: “If you had a rosary with wooden beads, it wouldn’t look like jewelry.”

Seminarian: (grinning) “I don’t like when people bang on the table when they are talking to me. I usually bang on the table back.” (After this sally he walked out of the cafeteria)

Ronda (to the others at the table) “Oh, my God. I gotta get him and ask him to forgive me for making such a public scene and yelling at him. (I caught him outside the building). I’m so, so sorry! How awful of me. Do you forgive me? I think I picked a fight with you because you are leaving and I’ll miss you. If I think of what I don’t like about you, it’s easier to see you leave!”

Seminarian: “Of course, I forgave you immediately.” (Big hug from him).

Thinking it over I realized that the whole thing springs from something way back and what we call in Recovery, Intl. for anger, fear and depression – trying to get a symbolic victory. I was a relatively poor kid surrounded by upper-middle class kids who wore jewelry and cashmere sweaters. I envied them. I get a symbolic victory now as a simplicity-of-life-Catholic by mocking those with luxuries such as jewelry.

Symbolic victory means that by means of anger and sarcasm we get a phony victory over people whose ways we cannot change by quiet reasoning or inspiration. I can’t convince Catholics who wear jewelry that it is better to give the money to the poor, but by sarcasm I can think I have won a victory. It is not a real victory since they don’t change their customs. It is only a “symbolic” victory!

The example I always use to get this across is people giving bad drivers the finger. It doesn’t stop the bad driver from speeding but it makes the one delivering the insult feel superior – phony strong because fierceness feels better than worrying about bad drivers causing accidents where we are the victims.

See why I put in the heading “convoluted conflicts” on this blog, and, heh, guys, aren’t you glad I live far away from all of you!!!!!!!

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin 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.