It is hard to remember times when there was so much polarization of opinion, times when people were so full of resentment. Perhaps if the current information technology had existed in the 1930s, the web pages would be similar to those of today
Resentment s not an emotion that is of any use; it cannot make the slightest difference to the realities of life and can become a heavy burden when carried for too long.
Dr Billy Marshall, a saintly priest who contributed to my training and came to live in my parish after his retirement from parochial ministry, once said that, “there are the burdens that are unavoidable, and the burdens that are avoidable.”
The avoidable burdens are those we take upon ourselves – resentment among them. He had quoted from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the passage where Christian loses his heavy burdens through his encounter with the Cross
Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
How much weight do I carry because of accumulated resentment? Christian becomes a new person in Pilgrim’s Progress when the burden he carries is loosed from his shoulders.
It does not mean that injustice is accepted; it does not mean turning a blind eye to the victims of a political and economic system that forgets common humanity; it does mean letting go of rancour and retaining a proper perspective.
Bunyan goes on,
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.” Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden.
“Glad and lightsome”; only possible, suggests Bunyan, when resentment is released to roll away down the hill.