According to the experience of St. Francis de Sales, the best remedy against anger is to practice gentleness every day and to put one’s heart on guard.
If we’re able to recognize our anger with calmness and gentleness, we’ll be much more apt to control it and not let it explode. “At the first sign of anger, collect yourself gently and seriously, not hastily or with impetuosity,” writes the author of Introduction to the Devout Life.
Here is his prayer:
O Lord, with your help, I want to practice gentleness in daily encounters and annoyances. As soon as I realize that anger is kindled in me, I will collect myself, not with violence, but gently, and I will seek to restore my heart to peace.
Knowing that I can do nothing alone, I will take care to call on You for help, as the Apostles did when they were tossed by the raging sea.
Teach me to be gentle with all, even with those who offend me or are opposed to me, and even with myself, not burdening myself because of my faults.
When I fall, in spite of my efforts, I will gently pick myself up and say: “Come on, my poor heart, let’s get up and leave this pit forever. Let’s have recourse to the Mercy of God, and He will help us.” Amen.